Light night Feature

10 Inspiring Places and Events Leeds Has To Offer #WhatAreYouFOR

This article was first published over at as part of a promotional campaign between ourselves and them. 

We have teamed up with Smart and their #WhatAreYouFOR campaign to bring you 10 places that inspire us in our city in celebration of the launch of their two new models, the fortwo and the forfour.

Living in Leeds is unlike any other city in the North, a thriving metropolis that somehow manages to latch on to the feel of a smaller city with the people of a quaint little village. Leeds never feels too big despite all it has to offer and it’s people are always welcoming due to that lovable Northern charm. Coffee, music, nightlife, culture, food, arts, theater, sports Leeds excels in all these areas and offers more than enough variety for everyone.

After recently hosting one of the worlds biggest sporting events, Le Tour De France and becoming home to the world’s media for a week it’s clear to see what such huge feats Leeds is capable of. As construction continues to expand the city at a swift speed and regeneration keeps making its mark it seems that week on week we are given new reasons to love this city.

Here’s just ten of the awesome things this city has to offer. We probably could have put hundreds.

1. The Tetley

The Tetley

Photo – Facebook

A new center for contemporary art and learning set in the old Tetley’s Brewery that’s stood on the same ground in the city center since 1931. The Tetley opened in 2013 with a vision of showcasing new art installations alongside the old art deco surroundings of the building. The Tetley boasts a bar and kitchen serving all day and is open 7 days a week with free entry.

2. Wharf Chambers Cooperative Club

Wharf Chambers

Picture – Facebook

Wharf Chambers Cooperative Club is tucked away near the River Aire in the center of the city and is a must visit to see how a community can come together and create something special. Wharf is a bar and multi-use venue run by a workers co-op alongside a members club and although you have to be a member to enter anyone can register and last time we checked it cost only £1 for a years membership. Wharf has been home to some amazing gigs, parties and talks and is open most nights for members to socialise and battle it out with free table football.

3. Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival

Photo – Flickr

Since 1999, Leeds Festival has proven itself to be one of the must visit festivals year on year bringing a huge, diverse range of talent to Bramham Park outside of the city center. With attendances pushing 80,000 this years festival saw headliners Blink-182, Artctic Monkeys and Paramore/Queens Of The Stone Age rock the main stage with enough entertainment going on to keep you going for weeks, it’s a shame the festival is here for just one weekend a year.

4. Canal Mills

Canal Mills

Photo – Facebook/Justin Gardner

Set in an old warehouse on the edge of the city, Canal Mills is an undoubtedly cool yet unpretentious venue that hosts some of the best electronic DJs in the world amongst monthly food and drink markets, film festivals and more. With two main event rooms, an outdoor courtyard and a thumping sound system, Canal Mills was just the type of venue that Leeds had been missing out on before it opened in 2012. Well worth a visit if any of the newly announced winter scheduling takes your fancy.

5. No Gloss Film Festival

Now in it’s third year, No Gloss Film Festival is an independent celebration of do-it-yourself unconventional cinema and low/no budget films from local and international filmakers. The no-frills festival has previously taken place in Canal Mills but this year sees itself in a new warehouse style venue, Temple Works as they take over on the 11th-12th of Ocbotber for what promises to be a weekend full of unique thought provoking cinema and entertainment.

6. Hyde Park Picture House

Hyde Park Picture house

Photo – Flickr

Following on the cinema theme, the Hyde Park Picture House is an independent cinema (one of many in Leeds) set in the unique, student area of Hyde Park. An iconic building known by many, the picture house was established in August 1914 and to this day remains popular with residents of the city. Not only showing some of the best modern cinema has to offer the picture house is often involved in festivals and matinees, hosts talks by film makers and offers unique viewings of classic films. The Room anybody?

7. Recon Festival

Recon Festival

Recon Festival is a set of pioneering music, art and film events across Leeds and Bradford running from 18th – 29th September. After last years debut success the festival returns to take place in a number of venues in the city including Wharf Chambers and The Hyde Park Picture house mentioned in this feature. With a strong line up including exclusive commissions to the festival  and a collection of local and international artists and musicians, Recon Festival is set to be another hit this year.

8. Belgrave Street Feast

On the second Saturday of every month in the ever so hip, Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen we see some of the finest street food vendors from around the UK gather to curate the Belgrave Street Feast. With 3 floors packed full of food, music, art and film including a roof terrace to socialise on (come rain or shine) and a great selection of drinks from the multiple bars this is an event that foodies need to mark in their calenders.

9. Light Night

Every year the city center comes alive with a series of large scale light projections, art installations, film, dance, music and theater performances to become Light Night. This year on the 3rd October the city will host over 50 events for you to experience for free between 5pm and 10pm. With it being the 10th annual Light Night it’s expected to be the busiest and best yet.

10. For The Love Of Food

Street Food really is at its peak at the moment and Leeds is no stranger to it. For The Love Of Food will be taking over Millenium Square from 26th – 28th September for “the best street food show the world has ever seen.” Joined by crazy golf, live street art, vintage caravans on ‘the Yorkshire village green’, hip hop karaoke, Gizzi Erskine the street food retailers from as far away from Stockholm will be ensuring you’re well fed throughout the weekend.

Join in and share ‘what are you FOR’ with Smart by showing your love for your city with the hashtag #WhatAreYouFOR