Leeds Diary Dates: April 2016

So the clocks have gone forward – does that mean it’s officially spring now? I’m tempted to think yes; when I came back from my 2-week holiday last Sunday it was distinctly less freezing cold than when I left, and even when I was stood waiting for a taxi at 4am this morning I had a little smile to myself when I realised I was barely shivering. I’m calling that a win and packing away my bobble hats!

Life has felt busy since I got back from my holiday. I’ve spent most of my evenings catching up with friends or catching up with projects, and my diary’s looking pretty full for the next few weeks. That’s due in part to the cool stuff that’s happening around Leeds this month – let’s talk about the best bits. Fair warning: a lot of them are alcohol-related…

1st: Gin Kitchen Opening, Hedonist Project

The Hedonist Project’s ‘permanent pop-up’ bar on Lower Briggate is about to turn into my favourite haunt. For the last few months it’s been home to the Liquor Store and Whiskey Parlour, a total no-go for a whiskey-hater like me, but this April it’s being transformed into Old Tom’s Gin Kitchen with fresh spring decor, a juniper-inspired food menu, and an impressive selection of gins to satisfy any connoisseur. I can see myself spending the next 3 months slowly working my way through their cocktail menu.

7th-8th: Cocktails in the City

I was gutted to miss this last year, and after an awful moment when I thought it had fallen on a weekend when I’m away I realised I could bag tickets for the Thursday night. I honestly can’t wait – many of Leeds’ best bars are there competing for the ‘Best Cocktail’ crown with creative and original concoctions and there’s loads of other fun stuff planned as well. I’m particularly excited for the Blind Tyger cocktails and tea tasting sessions, the secret carnival, and the escape room. I’ve never tried an escape room before,and what better time to try it out than after 6 cocktails. Right?

25th-29th: Live at Leeds Digital Festival

Live at Leeds has become a stalwart of the Leeds music scene, but as the event hits its 10-year anniversary the organisers are shaking things up a bit. This year the Saturday of music will be preceded by Leeds Digital Festival, a 4-day calendar of events focusing on relevant topics for the digital, tech and creative industries. There’ll be talks on data, social media, start-ups and UX among other things, and all events are either free or relatively cheap.

29th-1st May: Leeds Gin and Vodka Festival

Can’t choose between your love for gin and vodka? Then this festival is for you. The event is hosting a range of distillers who make both spirits, making it a perfect opportunity for them to showcase all their best products together, and your £8 ticket includes a guide to all the gins and vodkas on offer. I’d be spending most of my time on the gin side, or browsing the street food stalls and tasting sessions.

30th: Live at Leeds

Live at Leeds is celebrating its 10th year, and it’s set to be as good as ever. Some of the biggest names appearing this year are Jess Glynne,  We Are Scientists, Mystery Jets and Band of Skulls, but the best part of Live at Leeds is the chance to make new discoveries – the chance to find a new up-and-coming band or a cool new venue you never realised existed and really explore Leeds. The price of a wristband has rocketed since I was a teenager, but it’s still well worth it for the number of bands on offer.

What have you got planned for April? Whatever it is, have a good month!

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