About LEEDS 2023


Dreaming in neon text above the clock in kirkgate market striking 11pm

1 September to 31 December

Welcome to Part Three: Dreaming

This is the final season in our year-long act of epic storytelling for the city from Awakening, through Playing and now to Dreaming.

Leeds is full of dreamers and dreams can make the impossible possible. So let’s together make our dreams a reality. Right here in our city.

Let’s dare to dream big, opening our minds to new possibilities and building a future full of hope.

A woman walking outside holding a bag, in a red jacket and a blue skirt
Credit: Tom Arber
scientist speaks to audience aboard moon palace observatory bus
Credit: JMA Photography
people in courtyard with tents and trees and stalls
Credit: Tribe Four Films
people performing
Credit: Bas de Brouwer
thum 1
Credit: Matt Rogers
3 people in room talking with bright colourful lights
Credit: Sable Studio


Open your mind and dream of Part Three. 

    Michael Pinsky, co-creator of Making A Stand
    Making A Stand
    Jun - Dec

    Inspired by the ancient forests of Leeds.

    This new public artwork in City Square reawakens history and captures the magic of the Forest of Leodis. Inspired by Leeds' roots as an ancient woodland, world-famous visual artist Michael Pinsky and award-winning environmental architects Studio Bark put sustainability at the heart of this epic piece for LEEDS 2023.

    A person looking through a telescope in front of a bus that is decorated in a celestial pattern.
    Aug 2023 - 2024

    Celebrate the Leeds-born trailblazer of civil engineering in a series of events and activities across the city.

    Get playful with engineering at museum events, STEAM activities in schools and interactive workshops in libraries. Hear talks and debates from bright minds in art, culture and science to get us all thinking big about our future. 

    Photo of Nest actors at St Aidan's
    Tue 5 - Sat 9 Sept

    Nest is a large-scale theatre production that explores how we can combat the climate crisis and create a better world for future generations.

    This original and epic performance will take place at the bio-diverse landscape of RSPB St Aidan's Nature Park. Join us on a journey across St Aidan's, moving through the site as the story unfolds.

    Two people sit on floor in white room with traditional dress on
    Hidden Stories

    Heritage is within us all.

    It’s in the stories we tell, the food we make, and the songs we sing. It’s what makes our city so special. Hidden Stories is our year-long co-created programme of special projects with creativity at their core, celebrating the heritage we all share.

    Tiles of black and white photos of woods and wasteland
    This is a FOREST
    Fri 6 Oct - Sun 26 Nov

    Through art, sculpture, film and data, This is a FOREST explores what might be possible if we if we work with rather than against nature, exposing the systems and structures that prevent ecosystems from thriving.   

    These public indoor and outdoor artworks invite us to explore ownership of earth, soil, air and water and how they are valued, asking what is land worth in ecological, health and  social terms.

    lots of instruments attached together
    Mon 16 Oct - Sat 28 Oct

    This project by award-winning Zimbabwean artist Masimba Hwati celebrates the small acts of resistance that ordinary people practise every day as they exist in the in-between. 

    The exhibition will feature 5 sculptures constructed from brass instruments combined with found objects. An ensemble of local artists – poets, musicians, DJs and dancers – will bring these sonic sculptures to life in a performance.

    Person on stage performing
    Transform 23
    Wed 11 Oct - Sun 22 Oct

    From intimate encounters in unusual spaces to epic main stage performances, Transform 23 is a performance festival bringing together extraordinary productions from across the globe. With dance, music, immersive theatre and more, this international celebration of creative trailblazers is tender, reflective and gloriously defiant.

    illustration of a child skipping across some  stepping stones in the sky made of books
    Northern Dreaming
    Oct - Dec

    Welcoming a new addition this year? LEEDS 2023 and the British Library have come together to create a special gift for babies born in Leeds in 2023.

    Spiral text on blue saying 'And She Build a Crooked House Gemma Anderson-Tempni 20 October 2023 - 28 January 2024' repeated
    And She Built a Crooked House
    Fri 20 Oct - Sun 28 Jan

    And She Built a Crooked House is commissioned by Artangel and LEEDS 2023.
    And She Built a Crooked House by Gemma Anderson-Tempini fills the rooms of Burton Grange, a Victorian house in Far Headingley, Leeds. This multifaceted installation takes audiences on a journey through the fourth spatial dimension that is part-experimental, part-factual, part-autobiographical.

    cover 2
    All That Lives
    Fri 27 Oct - Sat 4 Nov

    Celebrate Day of the Dead with Leeds’ very own Ellie Harrison and Zion Art Studio, from Mexico. Join us on a 9 day celebration of those we’ve loved and lost and send Ellie’s thirteen year long body of work, The Grief Series, out in style.

    children playing with ribbons at the my leeds summer kirkstall event
    Leeds Language Week
    13-17 November

    Take part in a range of activities celebrating languages and cultures in Leeds!

    Did you know that over 170 languages are spoken in Leeds?

    From 13 to 17 November, we’re inviting you to take part in celebrating languages and culture in Leeds. In partnership with national and international language providers, we’re planning a range of activities for adults, children and young people to get involved in.

    Hibiscus Rising maquette
    Hibiscus Rising
    Sat 25 Nov onwards

    A new sculpture by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA to honour David Oluwale, the British Nigerian and Leeds resident whose personal story inspired local people to create a lasting legacy to mark his life. Oluwale drowned in the River Aire on 18 April 1969 after being systematically harassed by members of the Leeds City Police force.

    animated image of 3 people
    Guardians of Leeds
    Fri 1 Dec - Wed 20 Dec

    Guardians of Leeds created by acclaimed poet, activist and artist Xabiso Vili is where stories, technology and magic collide. This celebration of unheard perspectives explores how the stories we share shape our reality. Using poetry, augmented reality and illustration, these stories come to life across Leeds.

    A star filled skyscape with a hand holding a jar in the air. The jar is releasing light into the sky.
    The Gifting

    The team that created The Awakening as the opening show of our Year of Culture are working on something entirely different and surprising for our closing event. Drawing from the magic of the darkest winter nights and the dawning of a new year, look out for further details about our closing ceremony as we bring a year of waking, playing and dreaming to a close.

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