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What’s on in Leeds April 2024

What’s on in Leeds April 2024

Words by
Chapter 81

Spring has finally sprung. The brighter, warmer, longer days we’ve been craving are finally here, and it’s time to head back into the wild and take advantage of the many exciting activities happening across Leeds this April. Here’s a roundup of where to find the city’s best arts, culture, leisure, and entertainment activities. 

If you’re looking for things to do over the Easter school holiday (which falls early this year, during March), check out our article on what’s on at Easter in Leeds.  

For sound supporters…

The Leeds music scene has a distinct party vibe in April, with Dr John Cooper Clarke, Britain’s best-loved performance poet and social commentator, kicking off a celebration of 50 years in showbiz at Leeds O2 Academy on April 4th.

Over at the Brudenell Social Club on April 8th, fans of the British band Starsailor are in for a treat when the band performs new material from its album, Where the Wild Things Grow, set to drop in late March.

Leeds Lieder Festival ‘On Wings of Song’ runs from Saturday, April 13th, to Sunday, April 21st, marking 20 years of musical excellence. The inclusive annual event, described by The Guardian as having “a relaxed atmosphere with an electric buzz”, celebrates the performance and composition of song and poetry in many languages at venues including the Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, Leeds College of Music and the University of Leeds. Prices vary by venue––book tickets through the Leeds Conservatoire Box Office.

For spectacle seekers…

Cirque du Soleil brings the travelling circus production OVO to First Direct Arena between April 4th and April 7th. Taking inspiration from the world of insects, Ovo is not about the acts, dancing, or insects themselves but about movement. Expect great things: The perennially popular circus company shows as much attention to detail as ever–the word OVO (egg in Portuguese) graphically represents an insect’s eyes and nose. 

If popular music is more your tempo, Take That is at First Direct Arena between April 17th and April 20th, and they’re bringing along special guest Olly Murs! Doors open at 6 pm, so why not head in early and check out one of the many nearby Arena Quarter restaurants, such as Japanese classic Fuji Hiro or Korean barbeque experience Bulgogi Grill? 

If you’d like to get closer to an array of incredible performers, captivating cosplayers, and a diverse line-up of artists and dealers, head to the Leeds Anime Festival at the Royal Armouries on April 13th––Yorkshire’s largest convention to celebrate Anime makes its Leeds debut in 2024.  

Leeds Lieder Festival Leeds Lieder Festival
Cirque Du Soleil - OVO Cirque Du Soleil - OVO

For laughter lovers…

English comedian Ed Gamble serves up Hot Diggity Dog to Leeds Grand Theatre on April 4th. Expect classic rantings, ravings and splutterings from Gamble, who also co-hosts the award-winning podcast Off Menu with James Acaster and judges Great British Menu. 

Comedy fans are spoilt for choice on April 4th with Two Pints Podcast – Live! With Will Mellor & Ralf Little at City Varieties. Following the sold-out success of their 2022 tour, the lads are back with a brand-new April Fools format.

On April 6th, BAFTA Award-winning comedian Leigh Francis will bring his first-ever live tour, My First Time, to his hometown. Leigh’s favourite characters – Keith Lemon, Bear and Avid Merrion to David Dickinson, Ant and Dec, and Myrtle – will come to life in a live environment for the first time at Leeds Grand Theatre. There’ll be bucketloads of local audience interaction; it’s one not to miss.

For would-be winners…

If you have a competitive streak, the Leeds Running Festival on April 21st in Roundhay Park could be for you. Or you could join in anyway, raising funds for a fantastic cause––St Gemma’s Hospice. Everyone can get involved with chip-timed 5K, 10K, or half marathon options. What’s not to like about a Sunday run in the beautiful surroundings of Roundhay Park? Couch to Round-hay! Let’s do this.

But if you prefer stilettos to trainers, Bongos Bingo, a crazy mix of traditional Bingo, dance-offs, rave intervals, audience participation and pure nostalgia, offers participants the chance to be in it to win it at the 02 Academy on the 12th and 19th of April. Bongo’s Bingo is the definitive bingo experience in 50 locations worldwide! Everyone from 18 to 92 plays and parties together…

Leeds Running Festival Leeds Running Festival
Two Pints Podcast - Live! Two Pints Podcast - Live!

For art aficionados…

See: There’s still time to see There’s a Starman Waiting in the Sky, at Leeds City Museum, celebrating the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s performance in Leeds. The exhibition ends on April 8th

Found Cities, Lost Objects at Leeds Art Gallery, exploring the urban environment through the eyes of women and gender non-conforming artists curated by Turner Prize-winning Lubaina Himid CBE, ends on April 21st.

Do: Dance All Night Leeds on April 13th and 14th is a free, one-off dance performance, followed by a mass public dance across the streets of Leeds that will transform Victoria Gardens into a dance space for all.

Visit The Picture Library, between April 18th and 21st at Leeds Art Gallery, an art lending scheme with hundreds of new original artworks to borrow and hang in your home.

Dance All Night Leeds Dance All Night Leeds


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