the city talking: leeds, a-z 2016 • d—eBack
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.
The last few years have really seen central Leeds become a little more interesting by way of its food and retail, but I’m hoping 2016 will see more and more interesting independent businesses setting up in more suburban districts. Meanwood and Chapel Allerton already have a handful of great locations that make moving around the city way more rewarding. Holbeck and Hunslet are starting to see some positive attention and our new Sheaf Street Cafeteria at Crown Point Road will hopefully benefit as the area becomes more of a destination. It’d be great to have a city that you can move around different postcodes, each with something different. We just need a public transport system to allow it to happen.
Deuce & Charger
We’re really excited about how much great music there will be in Leeds this year. Dutch electronic legend Don Diablo is playing at PROJEKT in February and he’s remixed us in the past so that one could be fun. We’re looking forward to live shows from the likes of Rudimental, Grimes, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Massive Attack in the next few months. 2016 is going to be a bass-filled year!
I’m looking forward to another musical growth spurt in Leeds. There has been an increase in busking and musical events over last year and this year I feel the platforms I need to get exposure are more accessible.
A Tale of Two Sittings
As someone who doesn’t live in the north anymore, I read fab things that have happened, or are about to, with great envy as the city continues to flourish. It always makes me want to head straight back, just so I can sit at my favourite spot in Laynes with a piccolo, while I gradually soak up the city’s atmosphere! Leeds Indie Food festival an obvious choice, I can imagine this year’s extravaganza will be even bigger and better! Polpo’s arrival into Harvey Nichols sounds like an exciting prospect. Leeds already has an affinity with small plates, in particular the Italian kind with Meanwood’s Zucco staking a claim as one of the city’s best restaurants, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare in the north. The regeneration of one of the city’s most loved landmarks, Kirkgate Market, comes to fruition this year. Hopefully all the work will have a positive effect, without the loss of its character. As always where there are the old stalwarts of Leeds, there’s also the new breed, with the unveiling of Victoria Gate. Love or hate the changes, as a girl who loves to shop as much as the next, I’ll be gravitating towards it when it opens I’m sure. Leeds International Film Festival is always a huge draw for me; and The Tetley hosts the 19th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair in March, with a whole manner of artists and independent publishers, so there’ll be a ton of art work and photo book eye candy for me to drool over. Being a huge sports addict, both watching and doing, apart from occasions such as the Run For All series bringing the city together, this year brings the ITU World Triathlon Series to Leeds in June. With a route that includes Roundhay Park, Headingley and Millennium Square, it will hopefully show off the city at its best. Once again Leeds will be able to reinforce how amazing it is at huge sporting events, just like with the Tour de France. I’d love to be there in the crowd cheering on local boys the Brownlee brothers!
I’m looking forward to more amazing music, I think this year might be the year that the rest of the country fall in love with Dancing Years as we have. I’ve been in the studio producing the new NARCS album and I am unbelievably excited about it, it’s viral, urgent and needed. Chapel FM is going from strength to strength. Music Leeds Us will be launching later this year and as well as some superb live music, there’ll undoubtedly be a Musicathon at the end of the year. Other than that more amazing food, local brewed ale and great live music. As someone who works in creative industries Leeds feels like an amazing place to be right now. Hopeful for the reopening of Blueberry Hill Studios after being hit by the floods and Hope & Social FINALLY releasing a new album!
Writer, lecturer and consultant in fashion marketing
I’m looking forward to having a full year on my allotment, seeing my final year University of Leeds fashion marketing students graduate and visiting graduate shows from the other art and design courses. Most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting and spending time with people who make this city brilliant. That includes you!
I am always looking forward to making new work in my studio — paintings, drawings and some more furniture pieces. I started making ceramic pots last year so I am excited to see how much I can progress — it has been great to make something so different to my studio practice, it’s just like being Demi Moore in Ghost. I have a couple of collaborative projects in early stages too, but all work aside I am looking forward to nights at Brudenell and Wharf and dancing with all my pals at Come Thru!
That Old Chestnut
I’m excited to see how several community projects develop. First is The Holbeck Viaduct Project which has been gently simmering away for some time but it looks like things are starting to happen. The railway hasn’t been used for decades and there is now an opportunity to get involved and have a say in what this sky walk can be used for — cycle way, growing space, art space, viewing platform etc. The list really does go on — share your ideas with them or get involved at holbeckhighline.org.uk. Another project that has been immense over the last few years is the Real Junk Food Project, starting with their first pay as you feel cafe in Armley, the model is now being used all over the world! Most people who run these projects do so in their own time, not only do they make food companies aware of food waste but they are a huge support network for all walks of life, whether by providing food for people who would not be able to afford it or helping them gain experience and skills if they don’t have work, live on the streets or just want to learn something new. The project is now being used within some schools in Leeds — allowing children to get enough food everyday and also raise awareness of food waste and production. I’m looking forward to seeing how the project will continue to push boundaries within our current systems and make a difference to a lot of peoples lives.
Originally published in The City Talking: Leeds, issue 33