What we’re looking forward to in 2018

As our fresh new calendar pages open onto 2018, we couldn’t be more excited about what Leeds has in store for us this year. Events promise to be bigger and better than ever before, with a few surprises around the corner. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of must-add dates to your diary.

Madama Butterfly

As part of their Fatal Passions season, Opera North are presenting Giacomo Puccini’s famous Madama Butterfly at Leeds Grand Theatre in 2018. The masterpiece tells the story of Cio-San, a Japanese woman who sacrifices everything for her one true love.

Leeds Grand Theatre. Friday 19th January to Wednesday 28th February.


The West Yorkshire Playhouse is marking the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI with a spectacular production of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong. The heartbreaking story of love and war sees its main character, a young soldier named Stephen Wraysford in battle at the Somme, with only the memories of his love to endure the horror of the trenches.

West Yorkshire Playhouse. Tuesday 13th February to Saturday 17th February.

Leeds International Festival

The Leeds International Festival debut last year was a phenomenal success, with world class tech, music, moving image and fashion events which transformed Leeds into an international platform on which to also showcase our own home grown talent. This year, the festival will see more events spanning over more days, with a whole new lineup of exciting headline acts to be announced.

Various Locations. Saturday 28th April to Saturday 12th May.

Live at Leeds

Live at Leeds have already announced their headline acts for 2018 as Circa Waves, The Horrors, Peace and British Horse Power, who will be joined by over 100 brands playing  various venues throughout the city in May. And, with Leeds College of Music on our doorstep, it’s a great opportunity (as if you need one) to get out there and support some of Leeds’ freshest new talent.

Various Locations. Saturday 5th May.

Cocktails in the City

Cocktails in the City is back again to transform Leeds Town Hall into a collective hub of Leeds’ best bars, each presenting their most signature drinks – as well as tasting sessions high above Leeds in the infamous Town Hall clock tower and cocktail masterclasses in the prison cells under the streets below.

Leeds Town Hall. Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June.

Leeds Pride

One of the most colourful events on the calendar for 2018, Leeds Pride is set to be bigger and better than ever, spanning three days of celebrations. Live music and acts kick off the main event on the final day – a parade which weaves its way through Leeds and turns into a giant street party on Lower Briggate until the early hours.

Millennium Square & Lower Briggate. Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August.

Leeds West Indian Carnival

2017 saw the Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 50th year of celebrations, and this year will be by no means less extraordinary as Potternewton Park and the streets of Chapeltown transform into a huge party, with dancers, tasty food and the sweet sounds of Caribbean music playing all night long.

Potternewton Park. Sunday 26th August.

Light Night

Don’t be fooled by the modest name, Leeds’ Light Night now spans across two evenings of culture, art, dancing and some of the country’s most breathtaking visual light displays. There’s also a solid programme of free events to encourage everyone of all ages to get involved.

Various Locations. October 2018 (Date TBC).