About - Leeds International Festival

Leeds International Festival is the UK’s leading metropolitan celebration of new ideas and innovation.

Since its inception, the Festival has expanded rapidly, won international awards, and played a significant part in shaping the city’s vibrant character.

The event began life in 2016 after city-centre consultation revealed a shared ambition for an aspirational, world-class festival. LeedsBID collaborated with an array of partners to bring together an impressive and eclectic programme of home-grown talent and show-stopping events.

The participatory festival was unleashed on the city in April 2017 and smashed all targets. It transformed the city to a place where creativity thrived, where locals and visitors came together to exchange ideas and showcased Leeds as a truly international destination.

Leeds International Festival shines a light on the ‘now’ face of Leeds, pushing the city forward as a hub of invention and inclusivity without elitism. Key to its success is its connection to the city’s established industries, energetic people, and vibrant cultural identity.

CORE Programme

Our CORE programme invites the world’s leading creators, innovators, thought-leaders and pioneers to Leeds to disseminate new ideas and discuss the world of tomorrow. By introducing the brightest minds to our city and our city to the brightest minds, the CORE aims to challenge our understanding of the world today and deliver an exciting vision of the future.

OFF Programme

OFF is eclectic, noisy and unpredictable, the OFF programme is a dizzying whirlwind of live music, performance, food, after-parties, exhibitions, discussions, comedy and experimental events. In streets and venues across the city, OFF will shine a spotlight on Leeds’ rich cultural diversity and unshakable creative spirit.

Coming Soon


Meet the Team

Leeds International Festival is a collaborative, open and inclusive festival. Our open call policy, amazing event organisers, festival steering group and local creators are all a vital part of our team. The team is also hugely supported by the team at Leeds BID.