Andrew Cooper column: City piano trail hitting all the right notes

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LeedsBID, the Business Improvement District in Leeds, funded by close to 1,000 of the 4,500 city centre businesses, has a focus on continuously bringing more visitors into our great city, to enjoy and be inspired by all Leeds has to offer.

Running now and into September is a fantastic range of events, showing the energy, creativity and sheer excitement this city produces.

Date: 17th August 2018. Picture James Hardisty. Leeds International Piano Festival is launching a piano trail around Leeds, with funky decorated pianos popping up at locations all over the city for people to play. Pictured Playing a piano in the Victoria Quater, Leeds, Kirsten Freeman, of Leeds, alongside her Granddaughter Fifi Costigan, aged 3.

Date: 17th August 2018. Picture James Hardisty. Leeds International Piano Festival is launching a piano trail around Leeds, with funky decorated pianos popping up at locations all over the city for people to play. Pictured Playing a piano in the Victoria Quater, Leeds, Kirsten Freeman, of Leeds, alongside her Granddaughter Fifi Costigan, aged 3.

The Leeds International Piano Competition, one of the world’s foremost music competitions, returns to the city in September. And LeedsBID has been instrumental in helping mark the occasion by being involved in an innovative, packed programme of piano-themed activities for audiences across the city to take part in and enjoy.

Make sure you take the time to go around the wonderful Leeds Piano Trail – with twelve beautifully decorated pianos stationed in iconic locations across the city centre including Leeds Station, Victoria Quarter, Leeds City Museum, University of Leeds and Bond Court from August 17 to September 16. Available for the public to play, these pianos are also hosting ‘mini recitals’ by local music students and pianists, and pop-up performances by competition alumni, competitors and celebrity guests to spark the interest and imagination of visitors, residents and workers in the city centre this summer.

Visit pianotrail.welcometoleeds.co.uk to find out more. Leeds’ very own home grown internationally acclaimed comic arts festival Thought Bubble is back in September, bringing more than a splash of colour to animate the city centre – in the words of Forbidden Planet “the best comic convention in Britain”.

LeedsBID is committed to raising the profile of the city’s creative, cultural and artistic story which also brings more people to engage with our festivals and events, and generates increased income for businesses.

Check out www.thoughtbubblefestival.com for programme and ticket details.

Made Up Leeds will create one inspirational weekend of all-inclusive experiences, demonstrations and interactions from across the world of beauty – including speakers who have overcome incredible challenges in life to lead the way in modern thinking on cosmetics and style, plus some big household TV stars appearing too!

Running across two days (September 29-30), this is a superb collaboration from our vibrant retail sector. And why beauty? An interesting fact I have learnt is that Leeds tops the table in average spending in the UK. Keep your eyes out for the campaign launching soon.

This is only a flavour of the exciting range of projects LeedsBID continues to support and bring to the city in the months ahead.

Look out in October – there will be even more!

Andrew Cooper is the Chief Executive of LeedsBid (Business Improvement District).