the city talking: leeds, a-z 2016 • aBack
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.
2016 in Leeds is all about Big Birthdays and New Arrivals. The biggest birthday on the horizon has to be Leeds West Indian Carnival; although it doesn’t turn 50 until 2017, this year is definitely going to be its warm up party. In November Leeds Film Festival is all grown-up at thirty years old — keep an eye out for our film poster collaboration with them later in the year. It’s double-bubble figures for the Thought Bubble gang as they hit ten years, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for a wild CosPlay birthday party. Same goes for Leeds Pride who’ll be celebrating a totally fabulous ten year anniversary in August. Leeds Indie Food reaches the tender age of one (or two depending on how you count these things) in May with the best tasting birthday cake in Leeds. Among the new arrivals for 2016 is Room 700 arts space in Central Library, and its programme of exhibitions and spoken word events. East Street Arts open the doors to the very first Art Hostel in Leeds, with each room designed by a different artist and tons of events planned throughout the year. Best shiny new thing for the summer has to be Duke Studio’s Big Disco featuring the world’s biggest mirror ball. Everyone across Yorkshire’s invited to join in the party — I’m practising my disco moves already.
Adam ‘Wheels’ Taylor
2016 will hopefully be an exciting year in Leeds, with lots of great bands producing new material. Really looking forward to seeing what the next step for Post War Glamour Girls will be, even though they are a band I work with as their tour manager and driver they still surprise me every time with their new material and the direction they take with it, very clever as a band and very very good. Another band, Cattle, are hopefully going to be releasing a debut album, they are one of my favourite bands in Leeds and are always exciting to watch, so energetic and powerfully loud — if you haven’t seen them yet make sure you do. Finally I must mention I’m extremely excited to see how much more the co-operative space I am involved with — Chunk — will grow this year. We have already had such great support within the city since we started in 2014.
Stacks of gigs at the Brudenell, Headrow House and all the other venues that give Leeds its amazing live music scene.
Live Art Bistro
The independent performance community of Leeds are turning heads nationally with a few Break Out artists leading the way. 2016 is Leeds’ year for contemporary performance! If you haven’t seen any of the work that comes through our space then you are missing out!
Slung Low Theatre Company
The Barnbow Canaries is a new play by Alice Nutter about young women making bombs in the First World War in Leeds. It’s on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. It’s a great story and Alice is one of the city’s most exciting writers. It’s also really exciting to see the new houses going up in Holbeck and the difference that is going to make to the area: it’s a really exciting time to be in Holbeck.
La Bottega Milanese
I am waiting to see what Leeds 2.0 will bring. Perhaps like most people of this great city, I was bathing in smug comfort, relaxing safe in the knowledge that I was living in one of the best places in the UK. It could not possibly get any better right? Well it seems I was wrong. The new south entrance at the station, the Tower Works development in Holbeck, the Burberry factory announcement and one of our homes — The Light complex — announcing a complete overhaul for 2017. It’s an exciting time to be a business in Leeds, I personally think it will be a monster of place to live in, finally shrugging off the inferiority complex with Manchester — which in my opinion we surpassed a while ago. And what are we doing? La Bottega Milanese The Light will be refitted at the end of January with a totally new look, focusing on espresso bar as a lifestyle, plus an evening aperitifs menu. Cheers Leeds!
Artist, Precious Art Collective
I’m looking forward to more great art exhibitions. While the British Art Show has been on there’s also been great stuff from Assembly House in Armley near the Mill museum on Canal Road; Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun, near Kirkgate close to the Market; &Model, close to the Town Hall; and Blip Blip Blip at Patrick Studios — that one’s close to that steering wheel topped, brobdingnagian Department of Work and Pensions building by York Road. Miss ’em and miss out.
North Star Roast
More development in the city with some new exciting businesses popping up and more collaboration at upcoming events such as Leeds Indie Food.
Originally published in The City Talking: Leeds, issue 33