Annual youth festival ready to Breeze into Leeds

Caption: BIYF Live!@Briggate will again be one of the highlights of the festival

The biggest arts festival for young people in West Yorkshire comes to Leeds this week with the start of the Breeze International Youth Festival.

Now in its 17th year, the festival which aims to give young people aged 13-19 the chance to showcase their talents runs for 12 days from Wednesday 22 May to Sunday 2 June featuring 31 events.

Organised by Leeds City Council’s arts development team and partners including the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Phoenix Dance and Leeds Grand Theatre, this year’s programme has been strongly influenced by a group of young people who selected many of the performers and film screenings.

A range of performances, activities, exhibitions and workshops offering music, dance, art, theatre and film will be taking place at venues such as Leeds Town Hall, The Carriageworks theatre, Leeds Art Gallery, Hyde Park Cinema, the new Trinity Leeds and the White Rose Shopping Centre. The majority of events are free, with others on offer at a discounted rate for those with a Breezecard.

One of the focal points of the festival will be BIYF Live!@Briggate, which sees performances of music and dance on an outdoor stage on Briggate on Saturday 25 May. Among those taking part this year will be DAZL, Frenchgirls, Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows and DJ School UK. It will also feature a performance by Digital Cure, this year’s ‘Breeze Choice’ band chosen from the Leeds AMP Awards (Association of Music and Promotion) by members of the Leeds Youth Council.

A photography competition will run this year as part of BIYF Live!@Briggate. Young people can enter by emailing their own images of the event to biyf@leeds.gov.uk. The winning 15 photos will be displayed in an exhibition at Leeds Town Hall.

Further live performances can be seen at BIYF Live!@The Carriageworks on Saturday 1 June, with an evening of music and dance from youth performers such as Rodillian School, Phoenix Dance Theatre and SAA-uk.

Among other highlights of this year’s festival will be the chance for young people to take a tour of the most iconic building in the city – Leeds Town Hall – and to take in the unique view from the clocktower on Thursday 30 May.

There is a strong focus on reading and events in libraries this year, with the Breeze International Youth Festival working in partnership with the ‘Breezereads Bookfest’ to host storytelling sessions, author visits and workshops at libraries across Leeds.

A special free session as part of Breezereads will take place on Thursday 23 May from 6-7:30pm as Leeds-based writer and storyteller Matthew Bellwood reads a selection of chilling ghost stories in the atmospheric setting of Leeds Town Hall Crypt. For more information on Breezereads visit www.breezeleeds.org/breezereads.

The Breeze International Youth Festival and Breezereads are both supporters of child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

Looking ahead to the events, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“This year’s Breeze International Youth Festival offers a fantastic range of events and activities chosen by young people in Leeds for all young people in the city to enjoy.

“The Breezereads Bookfest will also see some great events happening at libraries across Leeds so it should make for another fun and exciting 12 days. We are very grateful to all our partners and supporters who help make the festival possible.”

For more information and to book tickets for this year’s Breeze International Youth Festival visit www.breezeleeds.org/biyf.

For more information on the Breezereads Bookfest go to www.breezeleeds.org/breezereads.

Notes to editors:

• Photographs from the Breeze International Film Festival will be available on request from Helen Taylor using the contact details below.

• Press reviewers and photographers are welcome to attend the festival. Please contact Helen Taylor in advance to arrange appropriate access.

• Leeds City Council has produced a full colour brochure containing information about all the festival projects, a full schedule of events, a map as well as venue, discounts and booking information. A downloadable programme are available at www.breezeleeds.org/BIYF

• For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds


For media enquiries please contact:

Helen Taylor,

Leeds City Council arts development,

Tel: 0113 247 8539

Email: Helen.taylor@leeds.gov.uk