Experience the best of Leeds during the summer of 2023, from May to August, as the city invites its residents and visitors to explore its vibrant cultural scene. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information for a memorable summer in Leeds, filled with creativity, boldness, and the chance to immerse yourself in extraordinary experiences.
The WOW Barn
Dates: 30 April – 21 May 2023
Celebrate the power of women, girls, and non-binary individuals with The WOW Barn, a groundbreaking venue built by 300 individuals within 24 hours. This unique space will host various events, gatherings, and a festival throughout its existence.
Leeds Jazz Festival
Dates: 25 – 30 May 2023
This year, the Leeds Jazz Festival returns with an even bigger and better program, boasting both paid and free events across the city. Notable headliners include Rokia Kone and Giles Peterson, ensuring a lively and unforgettable experience for all jazz enthusiasts.
Making a Stand
Dates: Summer 2023
Witness a remarkable public art installation in City Square, inspired by Leeds’ ancient woodland roots. ‘Making a Stand’, a collaboration between world-renowned artist Michael Pinsky and award-winning environmental architects Studio Bark, is set to captivate visitors throughout the summer season.
Northern Roll Festival
Dates: 19 – 21 May 2023
Get your roller skates on and join the Northern Roll Festival, a unique event on wheels brought to life by LS-TEN charity. Taking place at the iconic Royal Armouries, the festival includes workshops, discos, roller dance, and roller derby for an action-packed weekend.
Dates: June – December 2023
Celebrate the achievements of Leeds-born engineer and astronomer John Smeaton with the Smeaton 300 program. Highlights include a magical mobile observatory that will tour the city, allowing visitors to experience the wonders of the cosmos.
Summer Solstice: Asian Music Festival
Dates: 21 – 22 June 2023
South Asian Arts-UK presents the Summer Solstice: Asian Music Festival, held at Leeds Corn Exchange. Prepare for a full inner-body experience, featuring music that will stir the spirits and lift the soul.
Leeds International African Arts Festival
Dates: 8 – 15 July 2023
In July, the city will debut the Leeds International African Arts Festival, bringing together African communities from Leeds and beyond. Expect a vibrant celebration of rich culture and creativity, showcasing the work of emerging artists and innovators.
The Royalty Beer Festival
Dates: 12 August 2023
The Royalty will host its first-ever Beer Festival, a family-friendly, ticketed event featuring collaborations with local businesses. The outdoor festival will offer food, drinks, live music, and games, with ample parking available.
Dates: 19 – 20 August 2023
Stockeld Rox, one of Yorkshire’s biggest family music festivals, returns with an unforgettable lineup, including Symphonic Ibiza and Scouting For Girls. Enjoy funfair rides, food vendors, children’s shows, and access to adventure parks, all culminating in a spectacular firework display each night.