The Tetley
LeedsBID's chief executive Andrew Cooper; Gemma Holsgrove, festival executive for Leeds International Festival; Valli van Zijl, Vastint's regeneration manager; and Morgan Cope, general manager of Tetley Bar & Kitchen.
Rebecca Wayman

Leeds International Festival to return in popular art deco location for 2019

The Tetley art gallery is to become the new home of Leeds International Festival’s Village for 2019.

In a unique partnership, festival organisers LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), The Tetley and Vastint, a developer and landowner, are collaborating to create a cultural hub.

The alliance brings together a metropolitan festival with a venue synonymous with emerging artists and talent, showcasing and supporting original works, located on the city’s South Bank; all of this on land owned by Vastint.

Leeds International Festival returns to the city for the third year from May 2-12, with a programme including global creators, thinkers, speakers and performers.

Andrew Cooper, LeedsBID’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with a venue of such cultural significance and heritage on a site key to a brand new development of the city centre, to bring this physical focal point for Leeds International Festival in 2019.

“LeedsBID’s overriding objective is to make new things happen, providing additionally for the greater good of the city - the international festival celebrates Leeds as an ambitious, international, innovative and forward-thinking city, raising its profile locally, nationally and globally and provides the opportunity for all sectors of the community to share in and benefit.”

This year’s festival, L19 will bring The Tetley site to life with an array of events and performances over a 10-day period; many specially commissioned as the result of an open call process introduced for this year’s programming.

The Village will be situated in front of the art deco headquarters of the former Tetley Brewery and will house a 20 m temporary event structure (The L19 Cube @ the Village) surrounded by food and drink pop-ups.

It will host gigs, conferences, talks and family friendly events, with big names on the bill already announced including Frank Bruno MBE, Matt Haig, Professor Alice Roberts, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Tommy Cash, and Crazy P. More will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Andrew Cobden, Vastint UK,’s managing director, added: “Leeds International Festival is exactly the kind of event we want to host.

“This exciting city-wide event shows the potential of the South Bank to bring Leeds together and celebrate its rich cultural diversity.

“At Vastint UK, we aim to create a truly mixed-use development offering great places to work, live and visit.

“We believe the former brewery site will be seen as a great asset to Leeds; a popular hub of activity and life set around a generously-sized park which helps to reconnect vibrant areas of the city centre.”

Leeds International Festival launched in April 2017, and is fully-funded by LeedsBID.

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