the city talking: leeds, a-z 2016 • a—bBack
The City Talking
Every year in Leeds we print The City Talking A-Z issue, and every year it’s about more than just a list of what’s going to be good in 2016. It’s about exploring, on a personal level, what people in Leeds are thinking and feeling and getting excited about in their city; not a date-by-date list of events, but a person-by-person exploration of excitement.
It’s something that grows every year, as we find more people to ask, and more people who want to answer. With each edition, it becomes more expansive, more reflective and more immersive, uncovering more of the city than we’d seen or known before.
Andy & Becky
Colours May Vary
The year promises some VERY exciting things for both us and for the city. We are most giddy about the regeneration of Lower Kirkgate. Already off to a great start with Fred Aldous, The Art Hostel and Wapentake, we can see the oldest street in Leeds coming back to life in real style. We are sandwiched between this and Victoria Gate, which also looks to be kickstarting regeneration of the landscape behind Eastgate; rumours are afoot of similarly creative content so we couldn’t be happier! We have loads of stuff on as usual and will be kickstarting the year with Leeds College of Art Illustration students taking over the show space. This will be followed by The Print Festival which is to be held later this year but is ALWAYS excellent! We are also plotting something in the wake of our pop up in Leeds train station so keep em peeled. Finally we are looking forward to the treats the Leeds Indie Food folk have in store for us during the Festival in May, last year was a real belter! We’ve started our diet now in preparation.
Although Curiosity Allotment has been about for years now it’s only been full time since September, so I’m looking forward to getting my first year under my belt. I’ve recently moved into a much bigger workshop that opens up so many more possibilities for me and means I can take on bigger projects. Leeds seems to be growing at such a fast pace so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens over 2016. Hopefully there are some interesting projects for Curiosity Allotment to be involved in.
Hungry Sandwich Club
I’m really looking forward to Leeds Indie Food again this year! It was an excellent first year in 2015 so I’m really excited to eat a load more food at this year’s festival. Thought Bubble and Leeds Print Festival were two more highlights of 2015 and both festivals are going from strength to strength. I’m pretty sure Colours May Vary will have some super cool exhibitions up their sleeve too!
Futuresound/Live at Leeds
Where else to begin but the tenth anniversary of Live at Leeds festival? I’ve been involved since the start and those ten years have flown by. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over that time and the calibre of artists we have showcased at all of Leeds venues and spaces over the years. Then there’s John Lewis, I love John Lewis. It’s great to see the city growing with big additions like this that sit alongside a plethora of new small creative independent businesses. On a personal note I’ve got a new addition to the family on the way, I’m super excited about her.
I’m particularly looking forward to continuing my involvement with the region’s digital start-up entrepreneurs. Leeds is establishing itself as one of the foundation blocks of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the city’s innovative approach to championing and supporting this sector is key to our ongoing success. In addition, award-winning regional incubators such as Kairen Skelley’s Spark programme, Leeds Innovation Centre and Entrepreneurial Spark are leading the line, locally and nationally, in supporting our home-grown talent. The bid for 2023 European Capital of Culture will continue to gather pace, showcasing the city’s creative heritage and demonstrating why this city is truly the jewel in the northern crown.
Belgrave Music Hall / Headrow House / North Brewing Co.
After last year I’d say Leeds Indie Food is easily one of the best things to ever happen to Leeds. All those great restaurants, bars and street food traders getting together was inspiring, such a huge act of unity, it made me feel really proud to be involved. The thing about it is that everyone wanted to be part of it, it shows solidarity that only a few other cities share. Food has exploded in Leeds and the fact that it’s led by such impressive independent businesses is testament to the fact that Leeds Indie Food deserves to be looked at as an important date in the UK festival calendar, and I guarantee it’ll get bigger and better.
People Power. Instead of IoT [Internet of Things] companies starting with chips and gadgets, the bottom-up-approach, we should start with PEOPLE — designed from top-down, the voice of the consumer, customer experience that earns and rewards engagement.
Polpo opening is pretty exciting, also looking forward to Kirkgate Market getting a new lease of life. Leeds Indie Food Festival should be even better this year (there are rumours of Norse doing something seriously ace). Basically loads of good food stuff.
Originally published in The City Talking: Leeds, issue 33