Things to do

September Events and Festivals

September may mean the end of summer, but it also brings with it an amazing array of fantastic events in the county.

Here is our run down of great things to see and do in Yorkshire this month:

Hull Freedom Festival, 31 August - 2 September 2018

Born out of the William Wilberforce commemorations in 2007, which celebrated the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade led by Hull’s most famous son, the annual Freedom Festival has evolved into one of the UK’s most distinctive international arts festivals.

A commitment to presenting impactful work which explores themes of freedom such as, democracy, equality and protest sets it aside from other comparable festivals, celebrating the city’s unique history whilst also engaging in a global conversation around human rights.

Leeds International Piano Competition, 6-15 September 2018

The Leeds is one of the world’s foremost music competitions. Since the first Competition in 1963, it has attracted the world’s finest young pianists, drawn by the opportunities offered by the outstanding prize package, the challenge of demanding repertoire, a stellar jury – and a warm welcome from the City of Leeds.

A new vision for 2018 sees The Leeds spread its wings. Internationally, First Rounds were held in Berlin, New York and Singapore.

Locally, the first annual Leeds Piano Festival has taken place and partnerships have been built and strengthened. Our Leeds roots are deepened with Piano+, an imaginative programme of city-wide activity, and our year-round Learning & Engagement work.

Leeds Beer Festival, 6-9 September 2018

An annual 4 day festival in the heart of Leeds, celebrating and promoting crat beer brewed in the UK and overseas. 

This year, they will feature the Main Beer Box - pouring beers from over 60 breweries from one of the USA's top beer producers: The state of Maine.

The festival also includes a street food market, live music across two stages and all sorts of lovely beer related things.

The South Pennines Walk & Ride Festival, 8-23 September 2018

The festival is the perfect opportunity to explore the wild and wonderful South Pennines landscape, its heather-covered moors, steep-sided valleys, canals, reservoirs and packhorse trails.

Spanning the Yorkshire Lancashire border this area has a fascinating history, offering everything from Neolithic stone carvings to world-changing industrial heritage; and many hidden gems. Over the centuries it has inspired artists and writers; and those who visit and those who stay.

St Leger Festival, 12-15 September 2018

Doncaster are proud to play host to one of the most prestigious race weeks of the British horse racing calendar, the William Hill St. Leger Festival. You can enjoy a unique blend of history, top-class horse racing and fabulous live entertainment during the four-day September extravaganza.

Don't disappear home after the last race! There is also some great live entertainment in store around the racecourse throughout the week which has in the past included a Vernon Kay DJ set, live music and entertainment and much more!

Harrogate Flower Show, 14 - 16 September 2018

Visitors to the 2018 Harrogate Spring Flower Show can look forward to topsy turvy, inside out inspiration this year with a series of spectacular new rooms where plants and flowers take over the living space.

There is a packed programme of talks and demonstrations across four live theatres, including lively chat in the Grow! Garden Theatre, great growing advice in Shed Talk, and a menu of delicious seasonal dishes from a team of talented chefs in the Feast! Food Theatre.

Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival, 15-23 September 2018

It's is set to be even bigger and better than our inaugural event in 2017. A fantastic celebration of local produce - and everything and anything cheese. 

A multitude of producers and aficionados from across the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will be taking part and inviting you to forty fabulous happenings that will make your mouth water.

The Blondin Gala, 15 September 2018

Witness funambulist Chris Bullzini recreate the magnificent high-wire walk originally performed by international sensation Charles Blondin in 1861 at The Piece Hall.

The Grade I listed Yorkshire gem will be transformed into a circus showground with an array of performers, side show curiosities, vaudeville street theatre, circus acts and magic, before the grand finale.

Castleford Roman Festival, 15 September 2018

Castleford Roman Festival returns and will once again be celebrating the town’s rich Roman history and heritage with a range of free, fun activities.

Castleford Town Centre will be hosting activities throughout the day, including family workshops, live interactive shows, circus skills workshops, street entertainment, shadow puppet making, free face painting and much more! 

In addition to this you’ll find demonstrations of Roman metal working and how the Romans braided hair. Alongside activities in the town centre, there’s plenty to enjoy at Queen’s Mill and at Castleford Library and Museum.

The Roman Festival Family Trail is also back – find the Roman characters hiding in shop windows around the town to be in with a chance of winning £50 shopping vouchers.

Thought Bubble Festival, 17-23 September 2018

Thought Bubble is the UK's largest comic art festival; a week long celebration of comics, illustration, animation and more. Whether you're a longtime fan of comic art or have never picked up a graphic novel before; Thought Bubble is for you!

Thought Bubble is unique among comic festivals by keeping creators as its focus; the work and the people that inspire our cultural landscape. You won't find another event like us. 

York Beer Festival, 19-22 September 2018

York Beer Festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary on York Knavesmire this year with an event sure to wow visitors from not just the UK but from all over the world. Last year thousands of visitors came from over 20 countries to experience one of the highlights of the UK beer festival calendar. Organisers York CAMRA have managed to come up with a winning formula that combines many great elements to ensure a great occasion for all those who attend. The wow factor is the huge marquee in the Clocktower Enclosure at York Racecourse – that houses over 500 beers and 100 ciders which are served from Europe’s longest bar which is over 266 feet long.

York Food & Drink Festival, 21-30 September 2018

York Food Festival run events throughout the year celebrating local and regional food and drink, with the main 10 day festival held at the end of September. It is a not-for-profit organisation and any money generated from ticket sales goes back in to the festival to improve it year after year!

Otley Folk Festival, 21-23 September 2018

Plans for this year's Otley Folk Festival are well advanced, the line up is nearly there and the venues are booked.

The campsite will be at the same site as last year but with some improvements regarding access. The campsite can accommodate camper vans, caravans and tents and dogs are welcome but must be kept under control.

Concerts will be at The Black Horse, Parish Church, Methodist Hall, Labour Club and the Courthouse. This year we can add TheWoolpack, this ex-pub is now an arts centre but with the help of Black Sheep, we are turning it back into a pub for the weekend. The small acoustic space will be added to our list of venues and will be hosting workshops and small intimate concerts.

A Taste of Independent Sheffield, 21-23 September 2018

Located in the heart of the city centre, Peace Gardens and Fargate, A Taste of Independent Sheffield is produced by the team behind True North Brew Co, alongside Timm Cleasby from Tramlines Festival.

The aim of the market is to create a community event to showcase & support local, independent businesses. Alongside the market, True North Brew Co will run their own bar, which will boast some of the city's finest breweries.

Friday evening marks the grand opening, where the cities Lord Mayor, Magid Magid, will officially open the True North Tent for a weekend of gin, rum, local brews and live entertainment!

Over the next few months, the Great Exhibition of the North takes place. This is a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit.

The country’s biggest event in 2018, it will pack a programme of amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation, new artworks and unforgettable experiences into 80 days.

Find out how you can get involved here.