Leeds International Festival 2019 is proud to now reveal its full programme, with an incredibly broad, diverse, innovative and fascinating line-up. Across many industries and sectors, L19 has insight from a massive spectrum of talent, from communities across Leeds, the UK, and internationally.

New events announced today include Sport 2.0: Every Second Counts, in which sporting legend and Olympic star Amy Williams MBE will discuss the technological innovations in sport which deliver that much sought-after edge, in an event hosted by Professor Greg Whyte OBE (Former Olympian, author and TV presenter).

Dr Almas Ahmed will speak at Facing Brave: Women take on the acid-throwers, an event focussing on the professional women taking on the vicious rise in acid attacks in the UK. Hosted by the Thackray Museum, Dr Ahmed (the inventor of the world’s first acid-proof makeup), will speak alongside Danielle Cornish, an International Women’s Rights expert, and Dr Julie Thornton, a Skin Scientist, in a discussion set to put power back into the victims’ hands.

A bespoke commission for L19, Falling Light is a piece of architecture that comes alive. This immersive art installation, created by design studio Flat-e and with original music by electronic musician Daniel Avery, will be hosted by Leeds’ iconic Corn Exchange.


Events announced previously include the punk poet John Cooper Clarke himself in performance with brand new material, Frank Bruno MBE chatting music and mental health in the Black British community for BlaqueXplosion, and queer iconists Tommy Cash and Yves Tumor fronting anarchic art party JUICEBOX. L19’s massive range of events means there is something exciting for everyone.

The full line-up announcement reveals cutting-edge stars and established names from across the worlds of art, science, technology and beyond, predominantly with a shared focus – presenting and discussing new, innovative ideas. An emergent L19 theme, many events look at what the future could bring, how we can cope with it, and how we can make the future better for all those living in it, not to mention showcasing the sort of diversity which is sure to be standard in years to come, across sexualities, race, gender, and social background.

Festival Executive, Gemma Holsgrove said:

“We are so excited to divulge the 2019 full line-up. You can see that this year’s festival offers up a wealth of dynamic, industry-leading and innovative speakers, as well as ‘must see’ events, performers, installations, activities and workshops…the list goes on.”

“L19 will present an amazing, eclectic line-up, which we think truly reflects the international appeal of Leeds. Whilst big/ renowned names appear on the bill, we also want to provide a platform for smaller, more diverse, local and underground voices, to showcase the breadth and rich cultural diversity of this amazing city.

This year’s festival sees new CORE and OFF programmes, dividing the line-up between CORE’s internationally-renowned speakers and OFF’s up-and-coming, diverse acts and events – many featuring home-grown talent.

2019 also sees a new location for The Village hub at The Tetley, and a new area called The Discovery Zone (hosting free-to-attend events for all the family) on Briggate. Full details to be revealed soon

Leeds International Festival 2019 takes place from 2nd May to 12th May.

The full round of announcements reveals some stellar names.


  • What Does it Mean to be Human? Events featuring Gelong Thubten, Professor Alice Roberts, Matt Haig and Simon Anholt, + FRINGE events
  • Sport 2.0: Every Second Counts featuring Amy Williams MBE
  • BlaqueXplosion featuring Frank Bruno MBE, Capital’s JoJo and The Voice’s Jermain Jackman talking Black British culture through music
  • Facing Brave: Women take on the Acid-Throwers featuring Dr Almas Ahmed
  • Rewire Leeds: an interactive, real-life gaming-theatre event
  • All Day Hey! Designers & Front End Developers’ Conference
  • Flat-e + Daniel Avery Falling Light installation
  • What the F*ture?! An Elmwood event
  • The Northernlands Data & Start-Up Summit
  • Automation & Me
  • What’s Eating Reality? Food Justice & Digital Arts Forum
  • The Changing Face of the UK Film & TV Industry


  • Crazy P (live) + friends
  • JUICEBOX featuring Yves Tumor, Tommy Cash, Karnage Kills and Nik Nak
  • John Cooper Clarke: The Luckiest Man Alive
  • Sex Tapes: Sex-positive spoken word performances
  • Get Into Gaming
  • Tender Balance dance performance and installation
  • Page 127: movement installation
  • All That Lives, Feasts presented by The Grief Series
  • Talkin’ ‘bout my generation intergenerational performance
  • Leeds Needs Help self-help comedy council meeting
  • The Sunday Practise – Festival Edition – spoken word performances, writing workshops and films
  • The Mountain and Other Tales of She Transformed performance installation
  • For Oluwale II: writers/artists interpret the exhibition using spoken word and BSL
  • Story #1 by Rachel Mars & Greg Wohead
  • Family Day
  • Unconference music conference
  • Charanga del Norte performance, + Guillermo Davis
  • Conductor – a Virtual Reality Experience

Tickets go on sale on Friday 15th March from 12pm, and available from the Leeds International Festival website – www.leedsinternationalfestival.com