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Leeds International Festival


A festival of ideas and innovation

A most colourful standout event growing in status and scale every year.

Leeds International Festival was a metropolitan celebration of new ideas and innovation in the city, that provided a platform to showcase its culture, rich diversity and home-grown talent, intertwined with an added international element.

The award-winning annual event consisted of world-firsts, original performances, and compelling speakers sharing new ideas and discussing the world of tomorrow.

Festival speakers have included Helen Sharman CMG OBE, June Sarpong MBE, Professor Alice Roberts, Matt Haig, Amy Williams OBE, Frank Bruno MBE, Bas Lansdorp, Dallas Campbell, Dr Sue Black, Gelong Thubten, and many more. Plus not to be forgotten performances from Rag’n’Bone Man, Mykki Blanco, Daniel Avery, Crazy P, Graft and Tommy Cash.

The festival is about shouting loudly about Leeds, showing the world how vibrant, eclectic and innovative it is as a city and being unafraid to showcase ground-breaking, unique and challenging topics and works which empower and inspire the audience.” — Martin Dickson, Head of Marketing, LeedsBID

“Our aim is for everyone to experience something truly innovative and life-changing; to feel enriched, enlightened and tell a bigger story about the city”
— Martin Dickson
Head of Marketing, LeedsBID

In numbers

People engaged (2019)


Events (2019)


Venues (2019)


Days (2019)