Waterfront Festival set to make a splash this weekend

The spectacular Leeds Waterfront Festival is set to make a triumphant return this weekend (26-27 June 2021) with its biggest ever series of events and activities. After last year’s event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, organisers have been working hard to bring together a summer-long celebration this year which will showcase the best of the city’s waterfront and South Bank area.

Organised by Leeds City Council alongside the Canal and River Trust, Leeds Dock, The Tetley, Citu, The Royal Armouries, Brewery Wharf and Granary Wharf, the festival begins with a launch weekend on 26-27 June and is the largest of its kind in the north. Events will take place in line with social distancing and with safety measures and advice in place for those attending.

Highlights at this year’s event will include the chance to take to the water with canoeing taster sessions at Granary Wharf, with sessions for all ages and experience levels, especially suitable for beginners. Families will also be able to travel back in time and go on an interactive theatrical journey to find out what makes the canal so special thanks to a series of special themed walks led by open-air theatre company Rusticus.

Sean McGinley, director Yorkshire and North East for Canal and River Trust, said:

“Leeds Waterfront Festival is always a brilliant event but this year it feels even more special with a whole summer of celebrations.

“Leeds is real gem of a city, so it’s great to celebrate the waterways which help make it one of the most vibrant places in the North of England.

“We know there are real health benefits of being by water and we can’t wait to welcome people back for what should be one of the best Waterfront Festivals we’ve seen.”

Adam Roe head of development and engagement at The Tetley added:

“After what has been an incredibly challenging 18 months the Waterfront Festival is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the reopening of the rich cultural offer across our city.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us all to pick up where we left off in March 2020 and get back out and enjoy fantastic art, amazing food and drink and just be part of a shared cultural experience. Here at The Tetley we’re delighted to be welcoming people back again to see all the work that’s been happening behind closed doors. We look forward to seeing you again soon.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for culture, economy and education, said:

“It’s fantastic news that the Leeds Waterfront Festival will be returning this year and that more venues than ever will be taking part in what is always a highlight of the summer events calendar and a real celebration of the city’s past, present and future.

“This event will also carry with it added significance this year, after what has been one of the hardest times in living memory for Leeds. I hope the Leeds Waterfront Festival will be a cornerstone of a wonderful and well-deserved summer for Leeds.”

More information including a full event programme can be found on the Leeds Waterfront Festival website at leedswf.co.uk or on social media on Facebook,  on Twitter, or on Instagram.


This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council