‘Jewels’ in Leeds cultural crown shelved for second year in a row

Music fans at Party in the Park in Leeds.
Music fans at Party in the Park in Leeds.
  • No return in 2015 for Party in the Park or Opera in the Park
  • Popular events were cancelled last year due to budget pressures
  • Concerts were held each summer in grounds of Temple Newsam House
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Leeds’s Party in the Park and Opera in the Park concerts have been shelved for the second successive year.

City council bosses today confirmed that the two music events would not be taking place this summer due to funding pressures.

The news comes just 48 hours after the council revealed Leeds is on the verge of throwing its hat into the ring in a bid to be named the 2023 European Capital of Culture.

Party in the Park was held in the grounds of Temple Newsam House each summer from 1994 until 2013, attracting top pop acts such as One Direction and Girls Aloud.

Opera in the Park was staged annually at the same venue, drawing audiences of up to 50,000 people.

The plug was originally pulled last year on the council-organised events.

At the time the local authority refused to rule out a future return for the concerts if suitable sponsorship could be found.

Today, however, a spokesman for Leeds City Council told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the Party in the Park and Opera in the Park “funding situation” remained unchanged.

Speaking last year about the decision to cancel 2014’s events, council leader Coun Keith Wakefield said: “Party in the Park and Opera in the Park have been some of our jewels in the crown when it comes to cultural events and have been really well supported by people local and regionally.

“However, the financial pressures on the council are so difficult that we have been left with very little choice and have to say we cannot sustain these events alone given the level of Government cuts.”