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February 14, 2020

Leeds International Festival Line-up Announced!

Leeds International Festival Line-up Announced! Leeds International Festival Line-up Announced!
Words by: Phoebe Ryan

Leeds International Festival 2020 is on the horizon!

Back 30th April – 9th May 2020, the citywide festival again collates some fascinating, diverse and pioneering voices from the worlds of dance, art, performance, music, social affairs, culture and tech to bring chats, workshops, events, premieres, performances and exhibitions to the city for ten days.

This year’s theme is Generation Future – so all events offer a pertinent insight into today’s world, and consider what the outcomes might be tomorrow.

We had the launch event last night, with lots of excited team members behind Leeds International Festival (LeedsBID, Chapter 81 and Rabbithole) alongside event submitters meeting up to chat plans, discuss events and generally let their hair down and have a (pink, obviously) drink together.

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There are some amazing events revealed in the line-up announcement today – 29 events in all.

Our current Top Five Leeds International Festival events:

I Like Trains x NYX Drone Choir

It had to be number 1, with Chapter 81 Director Fogal being I Like Trains’ drummer! The supporting act/co-headliner NYX Drone Choir promises to be spectacular too; testing the limits of the female choral voice with loops and augmentation, it promises to be an aural feast.

Requardt & Rosenberg

Okay we’ve totally been reeled in by the secrecy of it all. R&R won’t be revealing details of their premiering performance until nearer the time, which only gets us further towards the edge of our seats. With amazing reviews from Time Out and The Stage, R&R performances are physical theatre as you’ve never seen it before, breaking the rules of audience versus performer, set, and the fourth wall…it’s going to be wild.

A Generation to Cool the Earth

This line-up of four different experts talking about the impact we’re making on our environment (and more importantly, what we might be able to do to ameliorate the situation) promises to be fascinating. We’re particularly excited to hear from musician and bioacoustician Bernie Krause, who’ll be explaining how we can better understand the health of a habitat through listening to the sounds coming from the animals that live in it. With Dr Vandana Shiva talking about monocultures and GM crops, Extinction Rebellion Founder Roger Hallam discussing how to be a good citizen in these times of civil climate demonstrations, and Mike Berners-Lee talking carbon footprints and what we can do about them, we’re thinking that this event will not only be food-for-thought but also help us think what we can proactively do to be better to our world. Oh, and it’s compered by Michaela Strachan, the nature enthusiast TV presenter we’ve grown up with, from Really Wild Show times. Not to be missed.

The End is Queer: A Doomsday Disco

This apoca-disco sounds like exactly where we want to be. Seeing the world out in style, The End is Queer promises that our world is going to hell in a handbasket…but might also offer a sneak peek of optimism for Generation Future (as well as amazing tunes, dancing late into the night and a hella big bag of biodegradable glitter). Need to get those tickets…

Future. Identity. Power: Reframing Equality and Justice

This event sounds like an amazing opportunity to hear from some renowned experts in identity, power, privilege and oppression. The white patriarchal narrative has brought us here…so maybe listening to a broader spectrum of voices and experiences will give breadth to our future paths of action? Organised by Leeds Beckett’s Dr Shona Hunter (Founder of WhiteSpaces, Reader, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Race Education and Decoloniality), the event will bring forward some amazing voices.

Hear from Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, who is author of ‘Postcolonial Banter’, www.thebrownhijabi.com and co-author of ‘A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism’ as well as an educator and spoken-word poet. Lacy M Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator and activist, Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum, and author of ‘the Reckonings’, ‘The Other Side: A Memoir’, and ‘Trespasses: A Memoir’.

They’ll be in conversation with Editorial Director of Harvard University Press and author of ‘Not Quite White: Losing and Finding Race in America’ Sharmila Sen, and interdisciplinary, queer, archive-rooted writer Jay Bernard. We’re excited to hear these powerful, intelligent voices talking about what unites us across our multiple identities of race, gender, sexuality, and beyond.

And these are only the first five on our hit list! Check out the full line up, and buy tickets, here.


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