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.
First is the Art Hostel that’s being set up in Kirkgate by East Street Arts. I’ve been spending some time in there, hearing plans, seeing plans and putting it all together in my head and I’m pretty sure that the final result is going to be an absolute delight for the eyes, and for the guest comfort. The second thing is beer, but that could count as many things depending on how much beer will be drunk. It’s amazing to see so many brewers in Yorkshire do so many great things and blow our tiny little taste buds into the next dimension! I very much doubt it’s going to get worse in 2016, as D:Ream famously said back in 1993, “things can only get better.”
2016 is looking like another big year in Leeds. KMAH Radio are coming up to a year of broadcasting, which has been an honour to be a part of and I can’t wait to see how the station continues to develop. In summer, some of the city’s newer venues will come into their own (notably Headrow House and Duke Studios), bringing back some more day parties and events that the city centre has lost in recent years. And for the record collectors, news of a brand new record store come bar (Doghouse) from the minds behind The 212 Bar & Café that is also set to open this year. 2016 is looking bright.
We’ve had such a warm welcome since arriving here last October, so we’re looking forward to getting to know the city and the creative people who live and work here, making great memories and celebrating our first birthday! We’ve got exciting projects and fun additions to the store planned for 2016 so I’m really looking forward to announcing them. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Bryony Bond does at The Tetley now she has taken over as Creative Director. She’s curated some outstanding exhibitions at the Whitworth so it’ll be great to see what she brings to Leeds.
We are looking forward to seeing Leeds grow into an even more exciting and collaborative city. It’s changed so much in the last few years and we’re excited to see what the next year brings. Alongside that, kind of selfishly, we’re excited to have our first full year as a studio and so grateful we’re able to work with the amazing community and super-exciting independent businesses around us and call it a job.
Café 164 & The Gallery Munro House
Ouuufft. There is SO MUCH we’re looking forward to. Firstly. The reopening of Leeds Markets in all their glory. We are so lucky having them on our doorstep for our daily hunter gathering for both the cafe and home. Secondly. Leeds Indie Food. We made a marriage of our two businesses with the Edible Exhibition last year with the help of cake heroes the Tattooed Bakers. This year we look to take this further, creating collaborations with other independent Leeds pals to forge more excitements. These plans currently focus on all we hold dear. Coffee. Women. Art. Food. Pals new and old. We finally have a little breathing space to plot, explore and experience more of what this glorious city has to offer. Personally, I basically intend to eat/drink/attend/experience/plot/create/illustrate roughly 100% more than last year. Top level aspirations: Leeds Feast. MORE Leeds food/drink/creative events. (Planning and attending.) Leeds Beer Festival. Extensive cuppings with North Star. Permanently move into the Art Hostel by East Street Arts. Continue to draw to justify spending all the money in Colours May Vary and Fred Aldous.
Lots of big projects promoting the cities digital and tech sector. We’ve talked about it for a long time and it’s only now we’ve got things like the new Digital Job Fair, the film Hebe are working on, Future Labs Tech Hub and the Digital Festival. 2016 will be the year we get to put Leeds on the tech map — and John Lewis is opening!!
Amy Lord and Rebekah Whitney
2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year — we’re looking forward to seeing people enjoying The Turk’s Head bar that’s just opened. We’re also SUPER excited to see our good friends at Duke Studios collaborate with New Substance to lead the World’s Biggest Disco as part of Yorkshire Festival. We can’t wait to see behind the doors of Leeds’ first ever Art Hostel, brought to us by East Street Arts. There’ll be some great things coming from the people behind Transform, and the folks at &/or Emporium who are doing an amazing job of connecting people and offering a platform for all things creative. We’re also looking forward to reading a new Leeds-based mag called Paint by Numbers, and seeing new collectives and art spaces starting to pop up. So many powerful things are going on right now!
Chief Executive, LeedsBID
2016 will be a year of noticeable and exciting change in our great city of Leeds. I am looking forward to a number of things: the Victoria Gate development which will include the largest John Lewis outside of London and put Leeds firmly on the map as the greatest retail city in the north of England. The Triathlon will be a major event, creating an incredible atmosphere and media attention on the city in Olympic year. Finally I am looking forward to many new projects not seen before in Leeds that will be delivered by the LeedsBID to enhance and improve our city. It’s a very exciting and optimistic year ahead; we as an organisation are focused on bringing real enhancement to what goes on in the city and projecting that more successfully out of the city.
Originally published in The City Talking: Leeds, issue 33