What is Leeds International Festival of Ideas?

Leeds International Festival of Ideas is the UK’s leading metropolitan celebration of new ideas and innovation. Since its inception, the Festival has expanded rapidly, winning international awards and playing a significant part in the city’s rise as an international destination of innovation and culture.

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

How is LIFI funded?

Leeds Business Improvement District represents more than 650 businesses in Leeds city centre and is funded through the BID levy, a small percentage of all eligible businesses’ rateable value. Its annual investment transforms the city for the better.

What about Covid-19?

All Covid-19 Safety measures will be in accordance with Government and Public Health England guidance at the time. We will be closely monitoring the situation, and will keep all ticket holders up to date.

All individuals attending the venue must acknowledge that the measures and restrictions in place at the venue place personal responsibility on each individual for adhering to the requirements in place at the time that may include but are not limited to, those relating to social distancing, personal hygiene, testing and reporting health issues, self-isolating and quarantining.
Each attendee must accept that these provisions are required to protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and others.

Tickets & Events

Where can I buy tickets?
What happens if an event is cancelled?

Any updates about the event you are attending will be communicated via email and across our social media platforms. We will always attempt to reschedule our events for a later date.

What is a concession ticket?

Concession tickets are eligible to the following people:

Low Income – anyone on a means tested benefit or similar restricted income.
Over 65 – anyone eligible for State Retirement Pension.
Students – Any full-time or part-time students.

Please bring proof of your eligibility to the box office at the festival.

Can I bring my kids?

All events have suggested age guidelines, please check the guidance before booking.

Can I buy a ticket on the door?

Yes, as long as the event is not sold out.


What is accessibility like at LIFI events?

We want to make sure that we meet everyone’s access requirements, so as many people as possible can attend our events. We are working hard to ensure that our venues across the city are as accessible as they can be.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to anybody about access needs, please send an email to enquiry@leedsinternationalfestival.com


The Corn Exchange

This venue is wheelchair accessible via the front entrance ramp.
There is lift access to all floors.
There are accessible toilet facilities on the lower ground floor.

Leeds Town Hall

Wheelchair viewing spaces and Essential Companion seats. Please contact the Leeds Town Hall Box Office to discuss available options for specific performances, any access requirements, or Essential Companion Scheme.
Level access to the Town Hall is available via the City Centre Box Office, to the right of the main entrance on The Headrow.
Lift to stalls and gallery areas. (Please be aware that the Leeds Town Hall lift cannot be used for evacuation purposes. Gallery seats should only be booked if independent evacuation via the stairs in case of an emergency is possible.)
Accessible toilets are provided on stalls and gallery levels.
Baby changing facilities are available in the stalls and gallery level accessible toilets.
Lower counter points are available at the Box Office and in the Brodrick Bar.
The venue is equipped with a closed loop system for the hard of hearing.
Support dogs welcome.
Designated on street Blue Badge Parking can be found nearby on Oxford Place, Alexander Street, Rossington Street and Portland Crescent. Blue badge holders can also park on street in any ‘general’ Leeds City Council controlled pay and display bays (i.e. bays which are not Blue Badge bays) on their Blue Badge, free of charge without a time limitation.

City Varieties

All seating areas have lift or step access as City Varieties Music Hall is built over a pub; the lift goes to all levels of the auditorium.
The stairs in the building are very steep in places and the Circle and Upper Circle levels have steps down to the front rows.
Wheelchair spaces are available in the Stalls and Circle areas. Please inform the City Varieties Box Office if you would prefer to transfer from a wheelchair into a seat as space to store wheelchairs is limited.

Can my carer or support worker have a ticket?

Carers and support workers can attend LIFI events for free.
Please send us an email on enquiry@leedsinternationalfestival.com if you require a carer or support worker in order to attend a LIFI event.

Travel & Stay

How do I get to Leeds?

By Train
Frequent direct trains carry visitors from London to Leeds in just over two hours, with all other UK cities also easily reached by train.

By Car
Travelling by car to Leeds couldn’t be simpler, located at the crossroads of the M62 and M1 with the A1/M1 link, it’s easy to reach at speed from any direction.

On foot
Leeds Corn Exchange, The City Varieties and Leeds Town Hall are all a 10 minute walk from Leeds Train Station and are all easily accessible on foot.

Leeds Corn Exchange and The City Varieties are a 10 minute walk from Leeds Bus Station and 5 minute walk from Trinity Leeds.

Leeds Town Hall is a 15 minute walk from Leeds Bus Station and a 10 minute walk from Trinity Leeds.

Where can I stay?

Leeds International Festival
During your visit to Leeds International Festival of Ideas, make sure you take in the rest of the city. From amazing independent food vendors, to gorgeous hotels, to great art galleries – we’ve basically got it all. For more info about all things Leeds, check out: welcometoleeds.co.uk

For accommodation recommendations take a look here: welcometoleeds.co.uk


Where can I give feedback about Leeds International Festival of Ideas?

Leeds International Festival of Ideas is committed to platforming new ideas and innovation in a safe and respectful environment. If at any time you feel something could be improved please let one of our friendly members of staff or send us an email on enquiry@leedsinternationalfestival.com

How can I obtain media/ press accreditation?

Leeds Int Fest of Ideas media is managed by Chapter 81. Please contact the media team via simon@chapter81.co.uk.

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No worries! Send any enquiries to enquiry@leedsinternationalfestival.com.