Leeds Diary Dates: October 2016

So, summer is properly over now, right? This week I’ve actually not been feeling so sad about that – it’s like I’ve turned a corner overnight and now I’m really ready to break out my autumn/winter wardrobe. My cord dresses and woolly jumpers are staring to look so appealing, and I can’t wait until it’s cold enough to get my bobble hats out.

October is also going to be made better by the trip to Porto I have planned at the end of the month – I’m looking forward to spending a long weekend exploring the streets, tasting port and rolling home at 3am with my favourite travel buddy. Meanwhile there’s a ton of stuff on in Leeds I’m wanting to catch – have you got these events in your diary yet?

4th: Bettakultcha – On the Box

Bettakultcha is the ultimate ‘lucky dip’ night out – a line-up of speakers are given 20 slides and 15 seconds per slide to talk about whatever they want for their allotted time. They’re not professional speakers or ‘known’ figures; anybody can apply on the website and you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t sneak a sales pitch in. This Bettakultcha gathering is a special one because it’s going to be filmed for a pilot on Made in Leeds with the potential for it to be turned into a series. Exciting times for one of Leeds’ most unique events.

6th-9th: Oktoberfest

Until now Leeds’ relationship with German culture has consisted almost solely of the Bierkeller and an annual lad fest at the Christkindelmarkt beer tent. This year The Tetley are introducing Oktoberfest into the mix with a 4-day festival that based on my past experience with Tetley events I imagine will be held mainly in the car park. Bars, food stalls and an oompah band are promised, and the organisers have teamed up with Erdinger to make sure they have plenty of German beers on offer served up in branded Leeds Oktoberfest steins.

14th: The Cocktail Experience

Much like Cocktails in the City, The Cocktail Experience is a great chance to sample all of Leeds’ best cocktail bars under one roof. Hosted at Aspire, the event features 13 bars who will each be creating an original cocktail using h the spirit they’ve been paired with for the evening. Tastings and masterclasses have also been arranged and each room will be themed to add an additional twist. The event is by Hairy Lemon and Pink Gorilla who have done the planning and promotion for several Leeds cocktail nights in the past – it’ll be interesting to see if they can make a splash with their own event.

15th: Leeds Rum Festival

Following the Gin Festival a few months ago, it’s time for rum to take centre stage for a day of tastings, demos and masterclass at the Corn Exchange. Over 50 rum brands will be in attendance offering samples, and Latitude Wine & Spirits are running a pop-up shop so you can buy bottles of your favourites to take home. If cocktails are your thing you’ll find them at the main bar, and of course there’ll be street food to soak up all the rum.

15th: Mean Girls at Hyde Park Picture House

Is this worthy of its own mention? I’m going to go with ‘yes’. Every so often a teen chick flick goes beyond the mediocre standard of its genre and becomes a classic – for my generation there was Clueless, then Legally Blonde, and then came Mean Girls. Mean Girls came out when my friends and I were 13, which puts us in the age group for whom this is pretty much the defining film of our teenage years, and Hyde Park Picture House are showing it as their 11pm Creatures of the Night showing in October. Get in loser…

22nd-23rd: No Gloss Film Festival

Leeds’ independent film festival is back, giving small-time filmmakers a stage to show off their work and share their latest projects. The focus is on diversity, both in the variety of film genres and the backgrounds and skill levels of the filmmakers involved. Hosted at Canal Mills, the festival will run two screens of films over a full weekend, with an after party at Northern Monk on the Saturday night! They’ve also signed up Manjit’s Kitchen to provide delicious catering between screenings.

What are you up to in October? Let me know about any other good events!

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