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The 2015 Leeds Waterfront Festival

17 June 2015
The 2015 Leeds Waterfront Festival
The Leeds waterways will come alive with arts, entertainment, music, food, drink and loads of fun including the spectacular Dragon Boat Races, as the 8th Leeds Waterfront festival hits off on Saturday 27th June, promising a weekend packed with entertainment and excitement…

The Leeds Waterfront, stretching 4 miles across Thwaite Mills, Leeds New Dock, Brewery Wharf, The Calls, Minster, Victoria Wharf to Granary Wharf, will host a range of events bringing not only the communities, but also surrounding businesses and visitors together in a celebratory promotion of the vibrant city spaces and heritage sites along the water. Whether you’re into poetry, music and the arts or you are an ardent foodie fan in search of a chance to relish some delicious food and drink, or simply enjoy a tad more excitement and competition, this glorious waterfront celebration is the perfect event. From photography and writing competitions to health runs and promenades, free boat rides and races to zorb balling, the weekend is certainly not to be missed. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the major events taking place over the weekend:

Friday 26th June

Festival Launch Party

Time: 17:00 – 23:00

Venue: The Pop Up Bar on the Boulevard, Leeds Dock

Join the Waterfront Festival Team, Leeds Dock and Chilled Events for a great start to the festival weekend with the Friday Night Food Fight Crew. There will be FREE drinks on arrival (Pimms, local beers and soft drinks) and lots of lovely Street Food, including Mr. Browns Soul Kitchen and All the Tea & China if you feel like a bite to eat! Join in the fun with Beer Pong Games, outside table tennis and a BBQ if the weather’s nice! The winners from the Waterfront Festival Photo Competition will also be announced! And with music and a bar too! What more could you ask for...it's a great end to the week and a fabulous start to the weekend!

Saturday 27th June

Dragon Boat Races

Time: 10:30 – 14:30

Venue: Leeds Dock

Come and join in the fun on Saturday with the fantastic dragon boat races at Leeds Dock! 25 teams will go head to head, racing across the Dock in aid of this year’s charity, the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. Come and cheer on the teams from local businesses and organisations as they battle it out on the water in fancy dress! Bring your work colleagues as a team building exercise – it’s a great way to have fun outside of the office; anyone from the company can compete. As well as participating in the race, Leeds Waterfront Festival will be offering a large variety of activities for all the family on the day. There will be live music, local bands, arts and dance, and on-the-water fun, including boat trips and much more.

Live Art – Graffiti on the Bridge

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Venue: Richmond Bridge Granary Wharf

Watch Graffiti artists transform a waterside eyesore into a modern piece of art fusing the nature and heritage of the waterways with city life.

Junk Boat Building

Time: 11:00 - 16:00

Venue: Granary Wharf

Join a small team of up to 12 volunteers to build a boat or raft out of junk/rubbish (a bit like Scrap Heap Challenge) - then row or maybe even sail it down the river. You’ll be provided with the junk and tools - and also life jackets! This is a new project for 2015, which will we hope will lead to a full-blown junk boat competition and race next year! The team will be based at Granary Wharf on both days. Come along and watch or join the team! The junk boats will hit the water at 15:00 each day. Fingers crossed they don’t sink!

Seven Bridges Interactive Guided Walk

Time: 15:30

Venue: Starting from the footbridge at the head of Clarence Dock

Presented by Multi-Story Water, this is an amazing interactive promenade performance, with stories and music, playfully exploring the past, present and possible futures of Leeds Waterfront. Starting from the footbridge at the head of Clarence Dock, story-tellers will navigate a zig-zag route upriver to Lock 1 of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Eddie Lawler will be commencing the walk with a performance of a ballad about the Aire & Calder Navigation and will then perform again at Granary Wharf for the end of the walk with a ballad about the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

This event will take place on both days and the tour will last for around one hour and is free of charge.

Blank Page Industries Open Mic Night

Time: 19:00

Venue: The Pourhouse

The host for the evening will be local poet, Ian Harker. The event will start with a performance of poetry and music by Sankakei, a trio comprising poets Amina Alyal and Oz Hardwick, and musician Michael Graham. Poems from their repertoire have been published as Close as Second Skins (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2015), the collection being shortlisted in the Best Collaborative Work category of the Saboteur Awards, 2015. Ian will then open the floor to writers for some open mic performances. The best performer as judged by a panel of famous writers will receive an engraved Blank Page Industries Parker Jotter.

To cap off the evening, winners of the Festival Poetry and Short Story Competitions will be announced, who each will win an engraved pen and an exclusive Blank Page Industries T-Shirt (featuring Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath) and other prizes.

Sunday 28th June

Comic Power UK Workshop

Time: 11:00 – 13:00

Comic Power UK workshop, an amazing and unique opportunity to learn how to make comics that challenge social issues and change the world.

VIVA Brewery Wharf hosted by Salsa Rocks

Time: 12:30 – 17:30

Venue: Brewery Wharf

Salsa, Sun and Sangria!! An afternoon of Salsa dancing and music with Salsa Rocks Leeds. Join the FREE Salsa classes, enjoy the demonstrations by the instructors and dance to the hot beats with Latin DJ’s.

The outdoor festival bar will be serving a selection of beers and cocktails all weekend and you can indulge in flavours from around the world from a selection of International Street Food vendors.

Junk Boat Building

Time: 11:00 - 16:00

Venue: Granary Wharf

Seven Bridges Interactive Guided Walk

Time: 15:30

Venue: Starting from the footbridge at the head of Clarence Dock

This year’s Festival, promises to be bigger and more exciting than ever before! So don’t forget to save the dates to come and join in all the fun at the waterfront! For more details visit: Leeds Waterfront Festival 2015

Kam is a Business Writer for Leeds Living. Having joined in April 2015 she writes for the Strictly Business section and specialises in business editorials.