Leeds kicks off a successful 2023 Cultural Year

Leeds kicked off the year-long cultural festival with a grand opening ceremony featuring locally born stars including singer Corinne Bailey Rae and poet Simon Armitage on Saturday night.

V presenter and Leeds 2023 president Gabby Logan hosted the event called The Awakening with BBC Radio’s Sanchez Payne at Headingley Stadium, usually the home ground of rugby league club Leeds Rhinos.

The free showcase of live performances is billed as a “collision” of music, poetry, performance, comedy, dance and film, and a celebration of the past, present and the cultural future of the city of Yorkshire.


Gabby Logan on stage during The Awakening at Headingley Stadium in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

It comes after Leeds was denied the opportunity to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture due to Brexit. It bid for this honor in 2017 but was blocked after the European Commission decided the UK was no longer eligible.

The city also lost its chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest that will take place at the Liverpool Arena after the 2022 winner, Ukraine, was said to be unable to host because of the Russian invasion.

Leeds decided to organize its own 12-month cultural festival, which opens on Saturday.

The stadium was packed with crowds who, despite the rain, enjoyed an impressive performance by percussionist Inder Goldfinger, up-and-coming rap artist Graft and electric carnival dancers in fiery costumes created by Hughbon Condor based in Leeds design.


Festival dancers perform on stage during The Awakening at Headingley Stadium in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Armitage Prize-winning poet and his band LYR performed a specially written ode to the city, in which he read: “Wake up Leeds, you have gold in your veins,” the BBC reports.

The show also saw Leeds’ youngest rock band, The Solar Jets from the LS18 Rocks music school perform, paying homage to the Kaiser Chiefs with a cover of I Predict A Riot, shooting fire and laser beam from the stage.

Meanwhile, Opera North joined Chumbawamba frontman Dunstan Bruce to perform his 1997 national anthem Tubthupping, along with Leeds band Hope And Social.

Paralympic gold medalist Kadeena Cox also took to the stage alongside George Webster, the first host of CBeebies with Down syndrome, who recently impressed on the show’s 2022 Christmas special. Strictly Come Dancing show.


Corinne Bailey Rae performing on The Awakening at Headingley Stadium in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

Video of the day

Title action Bailey Rae, from Leeds, was the last artist on the stage to perform classical hits including Like A Star and Put Your Records On.

She told the audience: “This is the first day. Can you imagine what we’ll be able to do together at the end of the year?”

After the opening ceremony, the official twitter of Leeds 2023 wrote: “And that is the end. #TheAwakening is a real community effort.

“Thank you and warm congratulations to the dancers, performers, participants and everyone who made this night so memorable! This is the year 2023.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/leeds-kickstarts-year-of-culture-2023-with-a-bang-42270509.html Leeds kicks off a successful 2023 Cultural Year

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button