THE WRAPS came off the first Leeds International Festival today - with a music-up line up including the Pigeon Detectives and singer-songwriter Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, and a new film about Leeds United.
The week-long event in April will also serve as a showcase for the city’s burgeoning technology sector, with broadcaster Lauren Laverne leading a conference on Empowering Woman with Tech.
The festival, launching on April 22, will be a three-way split between music, film and technology, with the music strand also featuring Wire, White Lies, Maximo Park, Temples and Nubiyan Twist.
The specially-commissioned Leeds United film, “Do You Want To Win?”, is narrated by former players Vinnie Jones and Gordon Strachan, and will premiere at a city centre location.
The festival will also provide fashion and food-related fringe events, linking into new cultural projects like Fashion in Leeds and Leeds Indie Food.
Chairman Andrew Cooper said: “There is an ambition in the city to showcase all that is great about Leeds, nationally and internationally.”
“This year’s festival is hopefully the start of a showpiece annual event for Leeds - the foundation for a bigger and even more ambitious LIF in 2018.”
Director of Music, Colin Oliver added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the city to celebrate its musical heritage and look to the future to develop an inclusive program that showcases the city’s talent whatever musical genre.
“The Leeds International Festival also gives us the opportunity to attract performers from further afield, and helps to cement Leeds as an important destination on the international music touring map.”
Lee Hicken, director of the festival’s Moving Image strand, said: “From day one, we knew Leeds International Festival needed to have a big focus on moving image to drive the industry forward, commission new work and help inspire the next generation of talent.”
The festival will run from April 22-30.