The annual Waterfront Festival returns on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June with free live music, arts and dance, boat trips, and watery japes for all ages.
Granary Wharf will be at the heart of the festival – and it's taking the French Riveria as inspiration for its programme of cosmopolitan, canal-side celebrations.
Bird's Yard At Leeds Riviera, Granary Wharf. Stylist Taheed K. Credit Annia Harrup. 2The developers of this award-winning neighbourhood, ISIS Waterside Regeneration, will host steel bands, origami workshops, Blues artists, Lishi classes, a caricaturist and giant Wowballs.
What's a Wowball? Picture yourself walking inside a giant, see-through plastic ball, hamster-style. They float so you can literally walk on water if you take one for a spin down the canal.
Saturday 25 June
On Saturday the waterside will be bustling with canoe classes, walk-on water balls and model boat sailing areas.
Local boutique Bird’s Yard will be there for the weekend, bringing their independent design and vintage clothes, accessories and cards to curious shoppers.
All the independent bars and restaurants will hold their own events, from cocktail master classes at Mint Hotel to food demonstrations at Wasabi Teppanyaki. There will also be plenty to eat and drink with barbecues outside The Hop and specialist ice cream suppliers.
Bird's Yard At Leeds Riviera, Granary Wharf. Stylist Taheed K. Credit Annia HarrupOn Saturday Indie Ices from Leeds will be selling their delicious Kulfi (Indian Ice cream) and on Sunday, Manchester’s Ginger's Comfort Emporium ice cream van will be visiting. Plus there'll be offers on food and drink at City Café and Brazilian steakhouse Fazenda.
Adding to the day will be music from favourite artists at The Hop including the Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows steel band and upbeat blues band Blueniks.
Sunday 26 June
Sunday will start with a Lishi fitness and wellbeing class on the canal side and there will be buskers from all over the city playing throughout the day.
Buskers will also show the way to Granary Wharf from the Brewery Wharf festival site along the River Aire, and a more relaxed music vibe will be programmed by Leeds’ based Blooz Promos.
Sunday Brunch will be served at Mint Hotel and Out of the Woods coffee shop where visitors can play giant board games outside on the square.
Bird's Yard At The Leeds Riviera, Granary Wharf. Stylist Taheed K. Credit Annia HarrupOn both days a caricaturist will produce quirky drawings of visitors. And there will be drop-in workshops where young and old can learn how to make an origami boat before seeing them set sail along the canal.
There will also be water taxis shuttling back and forth between Clarence Dock and Granary Wharf, run by JAMES, a youth group charity based in Bradford.
The Waterfront Festival takes place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June at Granary Wharf, Brewery Wharf, Clarence Dock and Thwaite Mills Watermill. It's a free event. Find out more here.