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10 of the best things to do in Leeds this September

From a piano trail winding across the city to film favourites screened under the stars, here are our top picks of things to do this month.

There’s so much going on in Leeds this month, we’re absolutely spoilt for choice.

From food and drink festivals to film screenings under the stars and the much-anticipated Leeds International Festival of Ideas, there’s plenty to keep you occupied throughout September.

Keep reading to discover our top ten picks for things to do in the city this month.

Leeds International Festival of Ideas

Promising a series of compelling talks on themes like morality, the future of food, the planet, inequality and the power of the media, Leeds International Festival of Ideas kicks off this month – bringing with it some impressive guests speakers Look forward to appearances from the likes of Katherine Ryan, upskirting campaigner Gina Martin, MOBO-founder Kanya King CBE and ought-after Scandi TedX speaker Emilia Van Hauen.

13 – 27 September. Find out more here.

Film and food festival 2021

Promising four days of “outdoor cinema, street food, live comedy, short films, craft beers, prosecco, gin, and cocktails” the Film and Food festival lands at Roundhay Park with screenings of favourites like Grease, The Joker and The Greatest Showman, live comedy from Eshaan Akbar and a host of tasty street food traders curated by Street Food Warehouse.

2 – 5 September. Find out more here.

The Leeds piano trail takes place over two weeks, popping up at sites including Kirkgate Market, Cookridge Street, Leeds Playhouse, Tiered Gardens and Leeds Train Station / Image: The Leeds piano trail

Leeds piano trail

Promising to bring music to “every street corner” this September, the Leeds piano trail features sculptures made entirely from upcycled pianos created by critically-acclaimed artists’ collective Pianodrome. These will appear alongside ten instruments that have been transformed by community groups.

4–19 September. Find out more and view the full programme of events here.

North Leeds food and drink festival

Returning for two dates in September, the North Leeds food and drink festival returns to Roundhay park for 2021 bigger and better than ever. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, expect a host of international street food traders alongside independent barslive music and art.

11 – 12 September. Find out more here.

Lets Rock Leeds

The annual family-friendly, 1980s-oriented music festival returns to Leeds this month, bringing with it a host of retro rock artists like Adam Ant, OMD, ABC, Kim Wilde, Sister Sledge, Howard Jones and Tony Hadley amongst others. if you’re a lover of all things 80s, you won’t want to miss this.

18 September. Find out more here.

Harewood House will be screening some all-time favourites this month in collaboration with the Luna open-air cinema / Image: Luna open-air cinema

Luna open-air cinema

Watch cinema favourites under the stars at the Luna open-air cinema this month. Returning to Harewood House from Thursday 16, look forward to screenings of Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, The Greatest Showman and Downtown Abbey over the course of four days.

16 – 20 September. Find out more here.

World on our doorstep

This festival celebrating local music from around the world takes place in Leeds this month, coming to the city on the last weekend of September. From 1920’s swing to energetic Kaminari taiko drummers, folk songs about rebellion and so much more, there are some brilliant acts to be discovered here across the weekend.

24 – 26 September. Find out more here.

The Afternoon Comedy Gala

This rescheduled show was originally meant to take place in March 2020. It finally lands in Leeds this month, bringing comedians Jon Richardson, Lost Voice Guy, Micky P Kerr, Barbara Nice and more to the 02 Academy for an afternoon of laughs. If you’ve previously bought tickets, these are still valid.

19 September. Find out more here.

Dracula: the Untold Story

Draculaa: the Untold Story comes to Leeds playhouse this month and it sounds brilliant. Taking you back to New Year’s Eve, 1965, this co-production tells the story of a young woman who enters Marylebone police station to confess to a brutal murder. She also claims to be Mina Harker, the last living survivor of the intrepid group that witnessed Count Dracula’s destruction 70 years before – but Ms. Harker hasn’t been seen since 1901 and would be 90 now.

25 September – 9 October. Find out more here.

Ben Randm Presents: Original Randm Material

Ben Randm comes to the Brudenell this month with his show Original Randm Material. Promising “high adrenaline wit matched with intelligence, [and[ beautifully layered storytelling” it sounds pretty decent to us.

9 September. Find out more here.

Feature image – Andrew Hurley.

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