Latino Festival in Leeds This Summer
Leeds City Centre is set to turn-up the heat this summer as a free one-day festival arrives in the region to celebrate Spanish and Portuguese speaking cultures.
Supported by Leeds City Council as part of the summer series of concerts and events in Millennium Square, iVamos! Festival takes place on Saturday 1st August and features an eclectic mix of music, dance, art and cuisine from Latin & Lusophone influences.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for economy and culture, said: “Millennium Square has become a real cultural focal point for the city and I’m sure ¡VAMOS! will be a fun and vibrant addition to the exciting programme of activities we have planned for this summer.”
Supported using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grant for the arts scheme, the exciting line-up includes live performances from Yorkshire based music acts, Mambo Con Rumbo and Element Dance as well as London based Grupo Lokito who are the headline act for the festival.
Sara McGuinness, bandleader of Grupo Lokito, says “After playing extensively throughout the UK we are thrilled to be performing in the City for the first time as part of ¡VAMOS! festival. As a band which brings together Congolese and Latin musicians, Grupo Lokito are part of a celebration of multi-cultural Britain and the possibilities therein. We hope that audiences from all sections of the community of this great city will come out to enjoy the occasion with us.“
Running the largest Latin themed Salsa parties in Leeds, – ‘Viva La Musica, Calle Ocho and Made in Brazil’ Festival Co-Producer DJ Lubi has been a Latin music promoter and DJ for over thirty years and will perform a set all day at the festival between live acts and dance shows with DJ Fabio – who has been performing for over twenty years.
Talking about his involvement in the iVamos! Leeds Festival, local man DJ Lubi said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing the festival to Leeds.”
Festival Director Nik Barrera added: “Leeds is known for being multi-cultural and the people are notably very friendly and welcoming so the city was an obvious choice when we were considering where we could take the festival to next.”
Promoting Spanish language and Spanish speaking cultures within the UK, Leeds based Instituto Cervantes has supported the festival since the beginning.
Kepa Gonzalez, Cultural Director Instituto Cervantes Manchester-Leeds said: “Being part of ¡VAMOS! is an honour, since it is such an interesting and creative festival celebrating the languages and cultures of Latin America. The good news is that for the first time we will have it in Leeds! It’s a real treat for the city, ¡VAMOS a celebrarlo!”
Leaving Brazil eight months ago to travel around Europe, Brazilian artist Manoel Quiterio has also been lined-up to deliver an outdoor mural commission as part of the programme.
Jane Tarr, Director, North of Arts Council England, commented: “Our Grants for the arts scheme invests Lottery money in the highest quality arts activity and supports innovative and exciting work. It’s exciting to see ¡Vamos! in Leeds this year, bringing their vibrant programme to new audiences and providing a new platform for celebrating Spanish and Portuguese speaking cultures through dance, music and street art.”
Recently producing a UK premiere street art commission for the festival’s new North East based residency ‘iVamos! Social’ Quiterio says:
“I am very happy to continue my work with iVamos! and am thrilled to unveil new work in the city of Leeds for the very first time. “
Now in it’s tenth year, iVamos! has delivered around 380 events bringing an international flavour to North East England, reaching diverse and mainstream audiences of over 300,000.