Leeds International Festival of Ideas (LIFI24) at Leeds Playhouse 2 – 5 October

Leeds International Festival of Ideas (LIFI) is set to return to Leeds Playhouse this October, promising four days of engaging dialogue, profound connections – and boundless curiosity.

With a lineup of worldwide speakers, performers, and thought leaders, LIFI24 promises to captivate and challenge attendees with its diverse topics

From October 2 to 5, LIFI will delve into pressing issues spanning addiction, artificial intelligence, care, neurodiversity and the impact of reality TV on our perception of reality. This year’s Festival aims to spark dynamic conversations and foster meaningful connections among participants.

Kate Adie

Among those headlining LIFI24 are notable figures from various fields, including journalism, entertainment, science, and technology. Notable names scheduled to grace the Festival stages include Kate Adie, Stacey Dooley, Goldie, Paterson Joseph, Nile Rodgers, Rebecca Lucy Taylor aka Self Esteem, Tim Spector and Matt Willis. 

Matt Willis

LIFI24 will feature an impressive lineup of panel discussions, each exploring crucial themes relevant to contemporary society and fireside chats. 

Stacey Dooley

Joining the Festival this year as keynotes and fireside chats are the brilliant Nile Rodgers and BEKA, who’ll lead a dynamic conversation on the evolution of creativity, where the rhythm of music never ceases. Kate Adie (Former BBC chief news correspondent) and Stacey Dooley (who recently hosted the BAFTA’s) will delve into the intricate realm of conflict reporting and the portrayal of war. Tim Spector (Scientific Co-Founder of Zoe) and Dr. Amir Khan (GP and bestselling author) will unravel the mysteries of gut health and nutrition, offering insights into optimal well-being. Grace Beverley will grace us with her expertise as an entrepreneur and influencer during the lunchtime discussion, exploring the nuances of the creator economy. Carol Vorderman and Rebecca Lucy Taylor, also known as Self Esteem, fearlessly confront archaic portrayals of women in the media, sparking a dialogue on whether the media needs to step up and evolve.

Dr Amir Khan

The panel chats this year are the strongest the Festival has had. Get ready for an engaging lineup as Matt Willis from the pop-punk band Busted and Lauren Windle, an esteemed author and journalist tackle the topic of addiction. Delve into the realm of AI with Georgie Barrat, host of Gadget Show, along with NHS Digital’s Dr. Nisha Sharma and the talented actor Paterson Joseph, who brings a sceptical yet insightful perspective. Professor Tim Wilson (The Circle) joins forces with Rylan (X Factor, Big Brother) alongside Charlotte Armitage, an expert on the duty of care for production companies, to explore the impact of reality TV on our perception of reality. Discover the diverse facets of neurodiversity with Ellie Middleton, an impassioned activist, Christine McGuiness, a model, and Tumi Sotire, founder of The Black Dyspraxic, in what promises to be a highlight of the discussion as they discuss “We’re all neurodiverse aren’t we?”. And ponder the question of care with Kate Garraway as she leads a conversation with Goldie, a renowned music producer, and Lizzy Oma, an advocate for cohousing, about who steps in when basic human needs are left unmet due to illness, age, disability, or poverty.

Charlotte Armitage

Attendees can expect thought-provoking insights, lively debates and innovative perspectives as experts and thought leaders delve into these pressing issues. 

Martin Dickson, Festival Director: The power of LIFI to bring the people of Leeds together and have a courageous, open, and honest conversation about major issues affecting us all in society today is one of the unique elements that sets this Festival apart. There’s nothing as bold, confident, or influential in the UK today as a people-focused festival. LIFI aims to shout louder about the City, confidently and boldly projecting an innovative, creative, exciting place to be and amplifying that to the world; that is what makes it the ultimate place-marketing festival of its type, not only in Leeds but the UK. The heartbeat of the Festival lies in the experiences and sentiments shared by the people who came to witness it. After last year’s sell-out, we are super proud of this year’s line-up and hope many people join the conversation!”


James Brining, Artistic Director and CEO of Leeds Playhouse: “We’re thrilled to be hosting Leeds International Festival of Ideas for a second year, building on this strong partnership and welcoming some incredible artists like Nile Rodgers, Rebecca Lucy Taylor aka Self Esteem and Matt Willis, each with fascinating and inspiring stories to tell.

Our mission at the Playhouse is to be a creative hub at the heart of the Leeds City Region, enabling dialogue, debate and a space for people to gather for shared experiences. We can’t wait to welcome everyone, including the stellar line-up of local, national and international artists, to our City. We’re throwing open the doors to our three theatres as well as our conference spaces so they can be filled with conversations and shared stories that reflect the world we live in and celebrate Leeds as a vibrant, culture-rich city.”

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the conversation. The Leeds International Festival of Ideas takes place at Leeds Playhouse from October 2 to 5. Tickets will be available on 10th May, and fans are encouraged to visit leedsintfest.com to sign up for the latest news and ticket updates.

Unless otherwise captioned, images are from LIFI23.

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