Onscreen sporting sacrifice, inside a fashion icon and the future of sex: get into Leeds International Festival 2018 

The annual Leeds International Festival will return for its second year with an eclectic mix of events spanning music, tech and moving image.

Saturday 28 April – Saturday 12 May 2018

Leeds is set to welcome its second annual Leeds International Festival this Spring 2018. The bold, ambitious and often daring festival will host a huge roster of events across the city of Leeds. Members of the public will have the opportunity to immerse themselves within the world of music, tech and moving image over two weeks, where they can discover a mix of performances from world-renowned artists, be inspired by compelling speakers addressing thought-provoking topics and attend a world-first sporting film premiere.

The first headlining events have already been announced and highlights include the following:

Inspired by the founding editor of WIRED magazine, Kevin Kelly, who once said, “the problem of the future will not be that we cannot connect – it will be that we cannot disconnect”, three great speakers will come together at the festival, to discuss the issues with living in an ‘attention economy’ whereby technology is essential but easily addictive. Another technology inspired event will see Dr Kate Devlin, one of the UK’s foremost experts on human sexuality and technology, leading a talk on the history of sex and tech, and where artificial intelligence, robotics and sex and love meet today.

Following this, one of the most successful rugby league teams in the world, Leeds Rhinos, will get the chance to shine in a brand-new feature-length documentary film premiering at Everyman Cinema in Trinity Leeds during the festival, entitled, As Good As It Gets? It will document a story of sacrifice, glory and the agonising pursuit of a legacy, featuring a roster of league stars such as, Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Brian McDermott and Gary Hetherington. The award-winning metropolitan festival, Live at Leeds, will also take centre stage, showcasing brand-new music across numerous venues in the city, plus, Fashion in Leeds (one of the most popular events from last year’s inaugural event) will return to the city’s main shopping street with more talks from leading industry experts, such as Founder and Director of Fashion East and Editor-at-large of Condé Nast’s LOVE magazine, Lulu Kennedy MBE.

The final event that has already been announced, will focus on Thydêwá, a Brazilian NGO which supports young people in indigenous communities in fighting prejudice, lobbying the government for their rights and improving their national and international visibility – all using digital tools. There will be a series of workshops exploring these voices, and their hopes and fears for the future, all expressed through digital storytelling and art.

Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID:

Leeds International Festival started in 2017, driven forward by business leaders in Leeds and funded by Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID). It is a new festival that reflects the DNA of our great city and an event which captures the essence of what Leeds is about, across both the business and cultural sectors. Leeds has a proud history of cultural organisations and businesses collaborating and Leeds International Festival creates a shop window in which we can place our best products for others to enjoy and experience. We are delighted to be using this festival to shout more loudly about the transformation that is taking place in Leeds.

Head to www.leedsinternationalfestival.com where tickets are on sale. The full programme of events will be announced in January 2018.

Have a watch of the Leeds International Festival 2017 video here to find out more about the inaugural event last year.

Events announced so far:

Sex, Love, Robots and AI – TBA

Human sexuality and technology expert Dr Devlin explores the history of sex and tech, and the potentially troubling conjunctions of sex, love and AI.

As Good As It Gets? 30 April, 6pm – 8.30pm at Everyman Cinema in Trinity Leeds.

This feature-length premiere tells a story of sacrifice, glory and the agonising pursuit of a legacy centring on rugby league legends, the Leeds Rhinos.

NGO Thydêwá: Connecting Communities  TBA

Brazilian NGO Thydêwá enables indigenous communities to challenge prejudices, fight for rights and improve their visibility, using digital tools. Hear their voices.

Live at Leeds 5 May, 12pm – late across various venues

The North’s leading city-wide festival celebrates new and established musical stars alike in venues across the city. General admission and VIP tickets are on sale now.

In Conversation with FASHION EAST – TBA

Fashion East launched many stellar UK designers, from Jonathan Saunders to J.W. Anderson. See Founder and Director Lulu Kennedy talk to some of her alumni. 

Disconnect – TBA

Where does a tool end? Technology has become both essential and addictive. Three great speakers discuss finding that crucial balance in a world which never switches off.