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What’s on in Leeds May 2023

What’s on in Leeds May 2023

Words by
Chapter 81, Becky Holderness

As we begin to see more signs of spring emerging, with longer days and moments of sunnier weather, you might be wondering what there is to do in Leeds throughout May. 

This month, we’ve got a variety of celebrations and activities for you to enjoy. There are three bank holidays coming up, so get the 1st, 8th and 29th of May written into your calendar. With food, music and entertainment all round, we’re sure you’ll find something that takes your fancy for each of these days, and others too.

24th April – 6th May: 1001 Stories

From late April to early May, the older generation will be taking over Leeds Playhouse to share their life stories through a range of media. 1001 stories promises an exciting line-up with everything from stand-up comedy and dance to an immersive digital installation. What brings this event together is that it’s all about celebrating age and the idea of ageing, with a focus on people aged 60+. 

The 1001 stories themselves can be read online on The Performance Ensemble’s website. They’re stories of love, family, sexuality, immigration and so much more. 

5th May: Canal Art Trail

Local artist Biro Guy will be taking participants on a walk by the Leeds canal to discover various pieces of street art and murals. Starting by the entrance of Leeds train station, the walk is set to last around two hours and will conclude with refreshments for all. 

The trail is a great way to learn more about Leeds’ street art scene, and promises to be a fun way to spend your Friday afternoon. 

6th May: Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival 

Whether you’re a vegan yourself, or simply interested in sampling some tasty plant-based treats, Leeds’ vegan festival will be taking place at South Leeds Stadium on Saturday 6th May. With more than eighty food stalls, including free food samples, beauty products and cooking demos, the festival should be a fun way to celebrate delicious food and veganism. 

 Tickets are £5 per person, or £15 if you’re interested in a goody bag packed with a range of vegan goods. Under 16s can get in free.

16th – 18th May: UKREiiF 2023

The UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum’s annual event is coming to Leeds for three days this May. UKREiiF are all about ‘connecting people, places and business to accelerate and unlock sustainable, inclusive and transformational investment’ and will be hosting more than 500 speakers, 750 investors and 75 fringe events at various venues throughout Leeds for their 2023 programme. 

If you’re interested in real estate, infrastructure, and all things national and regional growth, this event certainly isn’t one to be missed.

Photo credit: Tom Martin Photo credit: Tom Martin

19th – 21st May: Chow Down Wings Fest

A festival for celebrating chicken wings?! Yes, you heard that right. And it’s coming to Chow Down Leeds next month. With free entry for all, you’d be mad to miss this one-of-a-kind event which includes live entertainment, a variety of food traders and, of course, a feast of chicken wings! All you need to do is book your table via Chow Down’s website. 

For those with an appetite for competition, there’ll also be chicken wing and hot chilli sauce eating contests on the 20th and 21st. The festival is brought to you by Leeds Indie Food, who celebrate all things local food and drink in Leeds. 

27th – 28th May: Canvas Yard Garden Party

What better way to see out the month than with an electronic music festival? The 17th anniversary of this unforgettable experience sees a line-up including House Music duo Solardo, techno DJ Alan Fitzpatrick and many others.  

Canvas Yard, an amazing outdoor space based in Leeds city centre, will be hosting this year’s event. We’d recommend booking your tickets asap if you’re interested, as places are being snapped up quickly!

28th May: Thiccc Sauce’s 3rd Birthday 

Leeds-based business Thiccc Sauce will be celebrating three years of their award-winning homemade sauces with a summer market at Fourth Court, Holbeck. Other local vendors, such as the Cheesy Living Co, Savvy Baker and Pan Sushi, will be selling their goods for you to enjoy. 

Founded by Luca Rollini during lockdown, Thiccc Sauce offers a wide variety of hot sauces to suit every taste. From spicy BBQ sauces to Korean Gochujang, Thiccc Sauce knows just how to bring the heat.

Coronation celebrations – various dates

With King Charles III’s coronation taking place on Saturday 6th May, you might be looking to join in with celebrations over the bank holiday weekend. Here are just a few places that are holding events for the Coronation: 

6th May: Coronation Garden Party at The Mustard Pot.

With live music, bouncy castles, face painting and a garden party for all to enjoy, this event promises to be a fun day for the whole family. 

8th May: Coronation Picnic at Temple Newsam

From 11am – 3pm, Temple Newsam will be hosting a variety of activities and entertainment in celebration of the King’s Coronation. At £5 per person, you can enjoy everything the house and gardens have to offer. 

6th – 8th May: ‘Crowning Glory’ at Harewood House 

Whether you’re interested in viewing Harewood’s historical coronation robes, enjoying a special afternoon tea or creating your own Coronation wreath, there’s plenty to do for everyone at Harewood House this May. 

6th – 8th May: Coronation Weekend at Royal Armouries 

Real jewels are on show at the Royal Armouries. The stunning display of replica crown jewels direct from H M Tower of London is the headline event. Also enjoy the armoured knights parade around Leeds Dock on horseback, in a one-off recreation of the Ceremony of the King’s Champion, unseen since 1821. A must see! but mixing this with various family craft activities and competitions this will be special.

The WOW Barn Festival – various dates

Leeds’ first Women Of the World festival, celebrating all things women, girls and non-binary people, will be taking place on 13th May. Following an amazing 24 hour build at Cinder Moor park, the barn will be open to the public, with talks, workshops, food, music and much more to enjoy. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, there’ll also be a barn dance happening in the evening. 

From the 8th – 16th May, comedy performances from comedians Bridget Christie & Shazia Mirza, and book discussions from novelists Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan and Natalie Haynes will also be taking place at the WOW Barn. To wrap up the celebration, British chef Andi Oliver will be hosting a discussion with WOW’s CEO & Founder Jude Kelly.  To learn more about the WOW Barn and its upcoming events, visit the Leeds 2023 website.


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