🗞️ 2024 – What we know so far..
As we start the new year, we can start seeing the event calendar in 2024 taking shape, but what else can we look forward to? From festivals to theatre, here’s our top picks of events coming to Leeds in 2024 that we know about right now.
Our own WTL Events
We do events, too, you know! As part of the team that runs the Leeds International Festival of Ideas, we can’t wait for LIFI24. I know it seems unfair to say that without giving anything away, but all we know and all we can tell is that it will take place in the last quarter of the year. Expect the first announcements coming out in the first quarter of the year as the festival looks to grow at Leeds Playhouse..
The city’s Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) has some big projects in the planning and on the soon-to-be-announced pile. This Easter, think Space as the Leodis Space Agency is born, whilst Summer will see the biggest activation to date as Monopoly rolls into town.
Events and Activities
Leeds Holi Festival 2024
Scheduled for March 23rd at Beaver Works, the Leeds Holi Festival is gearing up to welcome over 5000 attendees from all walks of life, embodying the spirit of inclusivity that has become synonymous with the event. The festival, spanning 8 hours, has grown exponentially, drawing participants from Leeds and London, Wales, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and beyond. With an impressive 85% of attendees between 18 and 35, the Leeds Holi Festival truly captures the hearts of young people.
With the Paris Olympics taking place in July, how will Leeds fare? In a city abundant in sport, from football to rugby, we’ve seen it all, and 2024 is sure to bring even more success to Leeds Olympians. Though a few sporting legends are set to end their careers, we’re excited to see the Leeds sporting stars on their way to greatness next year.
381 – Road To Paris
Here’s some insider information on a project we’re working on with some fantastic people. We can’t say much at this point, but there will be a podcast and film series tracking several athletes’ routes to Paris, all the way from Leeds in 381 miles.
We want to give real insight into the lives of our athletes whilst also giving people in the city a chance to get to know the Olympians who will be representing us better in the summer.
Vitality Netball Nations Cup
The Leeds First Direct Arena is set to host the 2024 Vitality Netball Nations Cup, alongside tournaments taking place in Wembley. in what will be an exceptional showcase of sporting talent, the netball competition will bring together leading teams from across the globe to battle it out for the 2024 cup. Marking the first time international netball has been held in Leeds, the tournament is set to be a huge milestone for the city and for everyone taking part, following England’s historic entry to their first World Cup back in August.
The very nature of the Leeds United beast means that as you’re reading this, the team will either be in one of its famous ‘Ups’ or ‘Downs’ as the anthem Marching On Together references when sung by the fans on the Elland Road terraces. Relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 22/23 season saw Leeds recruit a new manager in Daniel Farke, a man who has gained promotion from the Sky Bet Championship not once, but twice. The Mighty Whites will be hoping he can repeat the feat to achieve promotion at the first time of asking. If he does, cue the big celebrations across the city in May. If he doesn’t… well, let’s not even think about that outcome just yet!
The terraces of the South Stand will be packed once more as the city’s number one rugby league team looks to recapture the kind of form that led them to a Super League Grand Final in 2022. The team have a rich history as eight-time tournament winners but has struggled for form over the last year, unusually missing out on the playoffs. Unsurprisingly, there have been some big-name recruits in the off-season, including a former Man Of Steel winner, which has lifted optimism around Headingley that the Rhinos can charge their way back into contention at the top end of the Super League table.
There’s something about Headingley that means you know you’re in for a treat when you arrive there to watch some cricket, no matter the format. Take last summer’s Ashes series against Australia; a game that swung the way of England after Yorkshire’s Harry Brook’s incisive innings of 75 helped turn the tie. The same player would hit the fastest century in the history of The Hundred tournament, smashing 100 off just 41 balls for Northern Superchargers later that summer. And the teams in purple will be looking to build on last year, with the women being the first Superchargers team to make Finals Day. With county cricket, the ever-popular T20 Blast, two T20 England internationals (one men’s, one women’s), and a One Day International against the Aussies, the city is set for some scintillating cricket in 2024.
The excitement, hype and success for Leeds’ ice hockey team continues to build after Leeds Knights swept the board in 2023, securing both the league and playoff titles in the National Ice Hockey League. For a sport that is still relatively new to the city, the achievements of this burgeoning squad have been remarkable. Primarily made up of local and home-grown British talent, they’ll be chomping at the bit to try and retain the title they won last season. The crowds are growing by the week, with a mixture of fans who have been there since the very start and those who are discovering the sport for the first time, making for an inclusive and incredibly fun night out, with bags of goals, lots of action and (if you’re lucky) the odd fight between the players!
Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon
Mark your diaries as 12 May 2024, the date to get ready to run. Over 10,000 people joined in the first year, which is expected to increase. The event will support the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal and the MND Association. However, we recognise that many participants will have their reasons for participating. As such, entrants are encouraged to raise money for a charity of their choice or for one of the partnered charities. We suggest you sign up.
2023 has been a triumphant year of music, bringing to the city some of the finest names in the industry. With so many phenomenal concerts, festivals and gigs to look back on, we also have an enticing lineup waiting ahead of us.
Leeds band Yard Act are set to bring out their brand new album ‘Here’s My Utopia’ in 2024, and with that comes a triumphant show held in the heart of Leeds. The homecoming event, held in Millennium Square, will be a celebration of the band’s brand new music, attracting crowds of new and old fans alike. The creators of hit songs ‘100% Endurance’, ‘Payday’ and ‘Fixer Upper’, will be unveiling their brand new album on March 1st, with the special Millenium Square show taking place on Saturday, 3rd August.
Live at Leeds In The Park
Live At Leeds have confirmed that its day festival, Live At Leeds In The Park, will be returning to the city on the 25th May. Bringing together a fantastic crowd of indie rock lovers, the festival will celebrate some of the finest faces in rock music, along with a mix of lesser known artists. The festival kicked off 2023 with a brilliant selection of artists, including Two Door Cinema Club, Lathums, Everything Everything and Tom Walker, and will be sure to pull together a fantastic lineup for 2024.
The headliners have been unveiled, and we are beyond thrilled. Leeds Festival is returning to Bramham Park in 2024 to celebrate all things indie, and the lineup so far is nothing short of special. International favourites are set to take the stage, including Liam Gallagher, Lana Del Rey, Catfish And The Bottlemen and Blink-182, with an electric mix of support acts, such as Fred Again, The Prodigy, Skrillex and 21 Savage. The eclectic mix of artists is set to bring Leeds Festival 2024 to life and welcome a mix of generations to enjoy the beloved weekend.
Leeds Jazz Festival
May 2024 will be a celebration of all things jazz, so strap in and get out your dancing shoes as we anticipate 5 days of rhythmic music. At various venues across the city, the festival welcomes a wide mix of jazz artists to showcase their talent, whether through a saxophone, a trumpet, a piano or purely their voices. In collaboration with some city wide partners, the festival serves as a unification of the artists, audiences and venues that make Leeds’ city culture as vibrant and diverse as it is.
From the already-announced Embrace show to the recent Madness show announcement, Kirkstall Abbey looks set to see more music in 2024. And what a music weekend looks like from Friday 26 to Sunday 28th. Rumours of something a little more laid back on the Sunday.
As a central hub in the UK, Leeds has a bustling community of businesses and industry leaders striving to shine within the city. Every year, many conferences are held throughout Leeds for various businesses, young professionals, learners and investors, working to learn and network in a prime location. Here are our top picks for what you can expect from 2024…
The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) will be held in Leeds this year, bringing together the UK’s core public sector, involving key regions and industries, from the Government to investors. The major event will take place in May, and is expected to bring in crowds of over 10,000 people to watch 700 speakers spanning 30 stages. Taking place at the Royal Armouries, the event is set to showcase developments across the UK and put forward investment opportunities from investors and developers from across the globe.
In June 2024, Investment Ladder will bring ‘Climb’ to Leeds. A conference focused on innovation, Climb will provide an opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts to collaborate, share ideas and work together for a future of innovation. The 2023 event saw over 2000 delegates, 200 speakers and 150 investors come together for a monumental two-day festival, and 2024 is set to be bigger and better than ever.
For stand-up fans, some of the biggest names in comedy are bringing shows to Leeds in. First Direct Arena welcomes Bill Bailey in February, Peter Kay for two shows in March and June, Jack Black brings Tenacious D in May – and Jason Manford’s huge arena tour arrives in November.
The Leeds Heritage Theatres have shows from Frankie Boyle (1st April), Jimmy Carr (16th November), Leeds legend Leigh Francis, on his first-ever live tour (5th-7th April), and Sarah Millican in September. Stephen K Amos and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Sam Campbell are here in the spring, and there’s a special tour show of BBC Radio’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue at the Grand Theatre in February. Finally, the “greatest living stand-up comedian”, Stewart Lee, has three shows lined up at Leeds Playhouse. And as ever, look out for regular comedy nights at Headrow House, The Original Oak, The Old Woollen, and the Parkside Tavern.
Leeds Heritage Theatres will see Life of Pi, Peter Pan goes Wrong, Northern Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, The Syndicate, Pretty Women: The Musical, SIX, Dear Evan Hansen and Blood Brothers. Bear Hunters from 2023 can also see the stage version of the book “We’re Going On a Bear Hunt” (March).
Leeds Playhouse has some great theatre planned for 2024. From Macbeth (an original production) to Frankenstein, My Fair Lady, Paranormal Activity (stage adaptation) to Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe back over Winter too. It’s brimming full of shows, so well worth checking out the full listings.
Royal Armouries – Re:Loaded – Weapons of Mass Seduction
Reloaded is a brand new exhibition for the space as they look to enter the new year bringing a new audience to the space. This thought-provoking pop-up exhibition asks us to reconsider the symbolism of guns. We can see iconic objects from the Royal Armouries’ collection and modern art pieces from renowned artist and peace campaigner Bran Symondson-Baxter as the exhibition poses a difficult question for audiences; why attempt to beautify such potentially deadly weapons? You can see this one until June 2024.
What else is on this year at the Armouries? Queering the Museum takes place on 3 February, with Forgotten Battles continuing until March 2024, Superheroes is back during Feb half Term (Feb 10 -18) and a brand new CrossBo Range launches in Spring! plus so much more.
Thackray Museum of Medicine
Replacing the critically acclaimed ‘On The Bench’ exhibition is the museum’s first look into contemporary art but with its usual twist on linking health/ medicine and storytelling. Details are little known just yet, but they are bringing some of Anna Dumitriu‘s pieces, which is VERY exciting.
Elsewhere, not much is announced. Henry Moore is currently closed until summer as it undergoes a refurbishment. The Tetley is on the lookout for their new home. The Hip-Hop Journey, 50 years of Kulture is showing at Leeds City Museum until the end of March.
Bavette is leading the way in terms of 2024 openings. A new bistro up in Horsforth brought to you by Sandy Jarvis and Clèment Cousin, who have worked with some of the finest names in the London food and drink scene, think The Buxton and The Culpepper.
Man Behind The Curtain closed its doors recently and has set about bringing a new concept Psycho Sandbar. So Leeds loses the Michelin Star, but will it gain by having a more diverse offer? We have high hopes for this one.
The top of Victoria Leeds, which was once home to East 59th and Issho will see new life. As Ikaro is set to open up on the old site of the 59th, think seafood and champagne. We are waiting to see what happens to the old Issho site, which was a favourite of ours.
Indian favourite, Shabab, which used to be located next to the old Leeds Train Station staircase (currently knocked down as they rebuild that whole front section), will move down the road to Wellington Street in early 2024.
What else can we expect? It seems there are more food halls than you can shake a stick at. The team behind Whitelocks are taking over the old Pizza Express and BrewDog behind the Corn Exchange to present Leeds’ latest food hall. Latitude is leaving the famous arches and moving just down the road to The Calls. 92 Degrees will also open their 3rd Leeds site on Boar Lane.
Retail will see some giant moves. Nike Rise has announced it will arrive in Trinity Leeds; Zara will be moving to a new home on Briggate, with Flannels working hard on theirs too. Briggate will be the topic for 2024, with new openings still to come from Office and Hays Travel which opens in early January.