What’s on in Leeds February 2023
It’s been a long January. How are you doing with those resolutions? The first payday of 2023 has finally arrived and we think you deserve a reward for all your hard work this year. There’s loads of great gigs this month so get out there and shake off those January blues.
26 January until May 11 - Private Parts | Thackray Museum of Medicine
We all have private parts so why are we embarrassed to talk about them? A thoughtful exploration of intimate health care, Thackray’s new exhibition Private Parts seeks to create a grown-up, comfortable space to talk about uncomfortable things – from going to the doctors to talk about ‘your bits’, to getting it on with whoever (and however) you want to.
Exploring some of the more intimate objects in our collections, Thackray sets out to get people talking confidently and inclusively about sex and our bodies, particularly the parts that you might usually keep hidden away. Co-created with people who have shared their diverse lived experiences, Private Parts is a body positive space, acknowledging and celebrating health, identity, and pleasure in all its forms.
From the ticklish to the explicit, personal stories explored in this exhibition are recommended for those aged 16+.
30 Jan - 5 Feb | Independent Venue Week
Independent Venue Week (IVW) is the UK’s annual 7-day celebration of independent music and arts venues and their owners, managers, and staff.
During the week, independent venues, artists, promoters, agents, record labels, and media collaborate to organise a unique series of exceptional live events across the UK to showcase their year-round work. IVW is supported by a new Ambassador each year and long-term supporters Arts Council England, See Tickets, and BBC 6 Music. Radiohead’s Philip Selway and Scotland’s Young Fathers, Adwaith (from Wales) are regional ambassadors for 2023, with Beabadoobee joining last. In December, she told NME, “I’m incredibly happy to be an Ambassador of Independent Venue Week. These venues help budding artists launch their careers.”
For a full list of venues and listings see the website.
3 - 4 Feb | The Queen of The Ocean - A Titanic Dining Experience
Based on the RMS Titanic’s final 24 hours, The Queen of the Ocean is an unforgettable dining experience and performance. Histoire Productions takes guests on a journey via Ocean Class liners, a world of elegance and splendour, world-class food, and a terrible and emotional tribute to the 1503 men, women, and children who died. The four-course meal is based on the final meal served on board on April 14, 1912.
Dress lavishly for this classy event! Canapes are served upon arrival, followed by poached salmon, chicken lyonnaise, and waldorf pudding. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free alternatives are available.
Tickets are £70 pp on Fri and £85 on Saturday. Book yours here.
Address: Aspire, 2 Infirmary St, LS1 2JP
4 Feb | Florence and The Machine at First Direct Arena
This show is rescheduled from Friday 25 November 2022. Original date tickets are valid. Florence + the Machine announced her record tour, including a welcome return to the first direct arena, after her tiny UK performances sold out in minutes.
Choose Love will receive £1 from each ticket sold on Florence’s tour. Choose Love helps refugees with food, legal guidance, and emergency rescue boats. Over 1.8 million people and 250 fast-acting community organisations in Europe, the Middle East, and the US-Mexico border have benefited from their work. They are driven by a vision of a future where everyone chooses love and justice every day.
4 Feb | Skinny Living at The Old Woollen
Skinny Living’s narrative is one of hardship and perseverance. Their melodies are ageless, sweet, and wise, evoking Bill Withers, The Isley Brothers, and Paolo Nutini. The band’s style is characterised by two acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies by Wakefield residents Will Booth and Danny Hepworth, while front man Ryan Johnston, born in Belfast to a Catholic mother from the Republican region and a Protestant father from the other side, sings exquisitely and hauntingly. Skinny Living debuted in 2014. The group is on track to release their debut album in 2023 after accumulating over 60 million streams worldwide.
The band recently explained their name: “Skinny Living is a term that represents the socioeconomic reality and lifestyle of the working class. Hard work on a little wage with a love of life, family, and the future.”
Tickets £16 + booking fee. Doors 7pm.
Address: Sunnybank Mills, 83 85 Town St, Farsley, LS28 5UJ
5 Feb | Rock Orchestra by Candlelight at Leeds 02 Academy
Following on from their sold out debut tour, The Rock Orchestra return to the UK with a massive, brand new 90-minute setlist featuring the biggest rock and metal of all time, performed in stunning, candlelit surroundings. 11 classical musicians breathe beautifully dark energy into legendary Rock & Metal tracks. Bathed in a sea of candles, skeletal players with rhinestone masks effortlessly switch between sublime melodies & powerful walls of sound.
Expect to hear hits from Pink Floyd, Metallica, Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Rage Against The Machine, Linkin Park, SOAD, Led Zeppelin, Evanescence, Guns N Roses, Billy Idol, Queens of The Stone Age and more. ..Proudly in association with the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra.
Tickets from £34.50
6 Feb | Leeds Apprentice Fair | first direct arena
Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair returns to first direct arena Leeds on Monday 6th February 2023. Tickets are available to book anytime between 2pm-8pm. Everyone is welcome and the event is free to attend.
You’ll have the chance to talk to major employers from a wide range of sectors, including accounting, business and administration, catering and hospitality, construction, creative design, care services, digital, education, engineering, finance, hair and beauty, health, law, protective services and many more!
Over 100 exhibitors will be there on the day offering information, advice, guidance and live vacancies. You’ll have the opportunity to find out about apprenticeships, including what they involve and how they work, as well as higher and degree apprenticeships.
10 Feb | Swiftogeddon: The Taylor Swift Club Night
A night dedicated to worshipping at the altar of Taylor Swift: non-stop Swifty all night: deep cuts, extended mixes, fan favourites and all the hits.
Do you have a Blank Space in your diary? Then this night is Taylor-made for you! Join fellow fans in a celebration of the genius of Swift – because she’ll never go out of Style.
Tickets from £8.82
Address: Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP
11-18 Feb - WTL presents Pottery Throwdown | Victoria Gate
Victoria Gate will be home to a week of pottery themed activities to entertain families during the Feb half term period. The event will run daily from 10am – 4pm and feature 4 workshops a day of pottery making, painting and sculpting. There will be pop up stalls from local pottery businesses, extra crafts for families while they wait, and of course face painting!
Each session will run for an hour and will be able to provide space for 10 children at a time. Sessions would not be pre-bookable and would be on a first come first served basis.
11 - 19 Feb | Fantasy Heroes at Royal Armouries
Half term in Leeds will be packed with well-known characters from our favourite myths and legends.
A lively and fun programme will include live combats, entertaining shows, an interactive green screen experience, and a very Pythonesque guided tour of the galleries – get your coconut shells ready!
Tickets are free, but booking in advance is advised.
Address: Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, LS10 1LT
11 Feb | Insights Lecture Series - Health and Horticulture
The Insights Series, founded by Thackray’s co-founder Professor Monty Losowsky, honours his legacy by studying how medical advances have affected lives. Two talks per session explore eye-opening themes and offer a distinct perspective on current public discourse.
Professor Rebecca Earle will offer lecture one, “Cheap, Nourishing and Savoury”: the Potato in the Medical and Culinary Imagination, on Saturday, February 11. Potatoes, the fourth most significant crop, were unknown to most people before 1500. Through this basic food, Earle examines the relationship between everyday eating and popular health concepts from the 17th century to the present.
Clare Hickman will present The Doctor’s Garden: Sensing, Using, and Experience. How has science and pleasure used the senses? Explore how late Georgian British doctors utilised and experienced gardens from domestic landscapes to university botanic gardens.
Tickets are £10 for a single lecture or the whole course of lectures is £60. Doors open from 9.30am, lectures begin at 10am.
Address: Thackray Museum of Medicine, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN
11 Feb - Ring Making workshop | Harewood House
Lucy Addison Jewellery will lead a Valentine’s ring-making workshop at the incredible Harewood House.
Lucy launched her firm over six years ago after graduating from university. Cleveland College of Art & Design awarded her a BA Honours in Applied Arts for Enterprise (now known as The Northern School of Art).
This silver ring making workshop teaches silversmithing methods like texturing metal, shape and forming, soldering, and finishing. Create a stunning ring from 925 sterling silver.
Book Tickets HERE
18 Feb - 2 March | Ariadne Auf Naxos and Tosca at The Grand
Produced by Opera North, Leeds Grand Theatre has not one, but two great operas this month.
Puccini’s Tosca is a sublime tale of love, blackmail and revenge. The heroine is a renowned prima donna, her hero a charismatic artist, and the villain the corrupt head of the secret police. How far would you go to save the ones you love? Majestic one moment and gut wrenching the next, Puccini‘s music overflows with emotion and iconic tunes including Vissi d’arte and the powerful Te deum. Written over 120 years ago, Tosca still thrills with the perfect pulse of a taut crime drama, portraying humanity at its best and very worst. Edward Dick returns to direct this five-star production. Started in Jan, performances will run until 2 March. Get your tickets here.
Starting on 18 Feb and running until 2 March is Ariadne Auf Naxos. Comic, heroic and romantic, this opera contains some of Strauss’ greatest music, filled with soaring melodies and unforgettable moments. Set in a bustling 1950s Italian studio two films are set to be made – one a heartbreaking myth, the other a light musical comedy. Disaster strikes and the two films suddenly become one. Entertainment is in no short supply, and neither is the drama. The multi-award nominated Rodula Gaitanou directs this new production, exploring the competition between high and low art, and bringing the audience in on its humorous mischief. Book your tickets here.
Leeds Grand Theatre: Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, LS1 6NU
21 Feb | Talk: The Science of ADHD at The Wardrobe
Scrolling through Instagram or TikTok makes you wonder: do I have ADHD? Adult ADHD is increasing. ADHD was first recognised in the UK a decade ago. Only 120,000 of 1.5 million UK adults with ADHD have been diagnosed. NHS adult ADHD clinics have two-year wait lists. Help is scarce.
This session by Dr. Brown covers dopamine dips, hits, and myths, ADHD in women, and neurodiversity. It will offer neurodivergent people advice on navigating neurotypical society.
This discussion will also show how society wants change. Neurodiversity is increasingly accepted and self-identified. Neurotypical social norms are outmoded and need to be changed.
Dr. James Brown communicates biological science. James co-founded ADHDadultUK, focusmag.uk, and The ADHD Adults podcast after being diagnosed with ADHD in 2021.
7pm doors, 7:30pm discussion. Take a seat early! General admission and VIP tickets are still available. Get your tickets here
Address: 6 St Peter's Square, LS9 8AH
23 Feb | Tour of Leeds Library
Ever wanted to explore one of Leeds’ hidden gems? Now’s your chance. The Leeds Library is the oldest-surviving members’ subscription library in the UK. Founded in 1768, the Library moved to its current purpose-built premises on Commercial Street in 1808, and many original features remain in this much-loved home.
From the Georgian splendour of the Main Room, with its Victorian sunlight burners, to the labyrinthian basement deep under Commercial Street, there is an unexpected treasure around every corner. And you never know, you may even meet the Library’s ghost…
Tours are led by member volunteers and take place on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 11am – 12pm, and the last Thursday of the month from 6pm – 7pm with a paid bar, to kick off your Thursday night. Tickets are free, but booking is required to secure your place.
25 Feb - 5 March | Leeds Lit Festival
Leeds Lit Festival 2023 runs 25 Feb – 5 March and there are a range of workshops, talks and panel events happening across venues in the city. For full listings see here. There seems to be a theme of horror and gothic amongst the writers this year with workshops from Lucie McKnight Hardy, Dan Coxon and Catriona Ward, Mark Morris and Alison Littlewood.
25 Feb is the book launch and Q&A with Gordon Raphael, author of The World is Going To Love This (Up From The Basement With The Strokes). This legendary music producer, best known for his work on the first two albums by The Strokes and Regina Spektor’s ingenious Soviet Kitsch, will be in conversation with Dom Richmond. Gordon Raphael was born in New York, grew up in Seattle and now lives in West Yorkshire. Stories in his book include meeting Wendy Carlos and Dr. Robert Moog, detailed conversations from the recording sessions for Is This It, working with Ian Brown, Skin, The Libertines, Ian Astbury and many others.
If spoken word is more your thing, join record label Nymphs & Thugs on 28 Feb at Hyde Park Book Club for an evening of electric spoken word poetry showcasing the finest alternative voices that are currently shaking up the UK’s poetic landscape. Featuring sets from Suhaiymah, Manzoor-Khan, Ty’rone Haughton and Jay Mitra. Or head along the night before on 27 Feb, when Leeds Poetry Festival will be taking over the venue and transforming it into a speakeasy. Grab a drink, bring your poems, and perform by candlelight. Performance slots are first come first served and tickets are pay what you feel on the door.