Top festivals and events in Leeds this autumn

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Leeds is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you're into theatre, film, music or cosplay, or just looking for a fun night out with your friends, you'll be spoilt for choice for things to do this autumn.

Leeds International Film Festival

In 1888, the world’s first moving images were created in Leeds. Today, Leeds is a leading centre for film culture. To mark 30 years of this creative film festival, there will be a city-wide celebration of global filmmaking, with 300 events held at 30 venues around the city, in independent cinemas, music halls and universities.

When: 3 to 17 November
More info: leedsfilm.com

Bonfire Night celebrations in Leeds

It's that time of year when you need to wrap up warm with your scarf and hat, and head over to one of the parks in Leeds for a night of colourful fireworks. To avoid disappointment please allow plenty of time to get to the bonfires as traffic can be very busy in the city at this time.

Parks to visit for the Bonfire Night:

  • Bramley Park (bonfire lit at 7pm, fireworks at 7.30pm)
  • East End Park (bonfire lit at 7pm, fireworks at 7.30pm)
  • Middleton Park (bonfire lit at 7pm, fireworks at 7.30pm)
  • Roundhay Park (bonfire lit at 7.30pm, fireworks at 8pm)
  • Woodhouse Manor (bonfire lit at 7pm, fireworks at 7.30pm)

When: 4 November
More info: visitleeds.co.uk

Thought Bubble Festival at Leeds Dock

The Thought Bubble Festival is the UK’s largest event of its kind – an annual celebration art in all its forms, including superhero comics. The two day convention at Leeds Dock includes an incredible line-up of leading artists and writers. The weekend will also feature portfolio viewings and competitions, as well as a cosplay parade.

When: 5 to 6 November
More info: thoughtbubblefestival.com

Compass Festival in Leeds

Created for all ages, the the Compass Festival will animate the city of Leeds with brilliant interactive live art projects in libraries, markets, museums, shopping centres and secret locations. Visitors will have the opportunity to get involved with the artworks, and enjoy talks and and discussions. 

When: 11 to 20 November
More info: compassliveart.org.uk

The Magical Lantern Festival at Roundhay Park

You can celebrate both Christmas and the upcoming Chinese New Year with the Magical Lantern Festival. Dragons the length of three buses and 30 giant handmade lantern displays with 40,000 light bulbs will illuminate the park. There will also be an entertainment area and food village, with an outdoor ice rink, Santa’s Grotto, mini fun fair and a virtual reality experience. 

When: 25 to 27 November, with more weekend events through to January
More info: magicallantern.uk/yorkshire

The Witches at West Yorkshire Playhouse

This Christmas, Roald Dahl's scariest book is brought to life in a tremendously terrifying treat for the whole family. Directed by Nikolai Foster, The Witches features a talented cast of actors, musicians and mind-boggling illusions that will leave you flabbergasted.

When: 2 to 21 December
More info: wyp.org.uk

Biffy Clyro at First Direct Arena

Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro will be starting their tour in December to celebrate the release of their seventh album, ‘Ellipsis’. Formed in 1995, the band rose to fame in 2002 after the release of their debut album, ‘Blackened Sky’. Biffy Clyro are famous for putting on music shows that are full of energy, so don’t miss your chance see them live.

When: 4 December
More info: firstdirectarena.com

Beauty and the Beast by Northern Ballet at Leeds Grand Theatre & Open House

Discover an enchanting world inhabited by fairies, sprites and goblins and learn why beauty is more than just skin-deep with Northern Ballet's version of the Beauty & the Beast. Breathtaking and talented dancers will bring new magic to this timeless fairytale with sparkling costumes and mesmerising dancing to beautiful music by Saint-Säens, Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc and Glazunov.

When: 15 December to 7 January
More info: leedsgrandtheatre.com