Let’s party! Spectacular celebration will mark official submission of Leeds’s 2023 bid

This month's Light Night cultural event in Leeds.
This month's Light Night cultural event in Leeds.

Leeds is set to throw a party to remember as it marks the official submission of its bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023.

The city’s Quarry Hill area will be playing host to the free Big Send Off celebration, which runs from midday to 8pm on Friday and is open to all.

It will feature outdoor stages, live music, pop-up street performances and fun-filled activities for young and old alike.

The area’s renowned cultural venues – including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance and Leeds College of Music – will be opening their doors so visitors can get a special insight into how they go about creating their artistic magic.

There will also be plenty of tasty treats on offer, with the Leeds Indie Food Festival curating a flavour-filled menu for the occasion with help from North Brewing Co, Estabulo, The Wardrobe, Kendells Bistro, Aagrah and Ipsum Vinoteca.

Sharon Watson, chair of the Leeds 2023 steering group said: “We’re delighted to be officially submitting our bid, and now it’s time to celebrate.

“Not only will we celebrate the hard work, collaboration, creativity and passion that has created the bid, but we want to bring together the people creating our culture every day, and give people a sneak peek behind the scenes of some of our greatest cultural venues. We hope that you can join us.”

Shows on Friday’s outdoor stages will come courtesy of groups such as Leeds Young Authors, SAA-UK, Phoenix Dance and Leeds West Indian Carnival.

Performances of Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling and West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday will take place from midday to 4pm.

Aspiring radio presenters can give broadcasting a whirl with East Leeds FM or try out a new instrument with Leeds College of Music.

Other opportunities for people to indulge their creative sides will be available at sculpture workshops and lantern making events being run by Breeze Leeds.

Visitors can also learn more about Leeds’s 2023 bid and get the lowdown on what they can do to help ensure it a success.

Legendary Leeds club night Back To Basics will be among those keeping Friday’s party going with DJ sets on the main Quarry Hill stage from 8pm to 10pm. Food and drink will also be available until 10pm.

An after-party event is running at The Wardrobe until the early hours.

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