Kirkstall Festival 2016 set to draw over 20,000


Kirkstall Festival 2016 will be on Saturday 9th July, 11am–5pm, in the beautiful grounds of the ruined Cistercian Abbey, writes Hannah Corah.

The theme for this year is ‘Heroes and Heroines’, and the committee have been revealing their heroes and heroines on our Facebook page for inspiration.

We encourage all participants to dress up as their hero or heroine for the parade.

This year will be our 36th annual Festival and it just keeps getting bigger and better!

We are managing to squeeze more and more on to the site and are currently working on some extra special plans that should be pretty spectacular. While the Festival is free, visitors support our efforts by paying £2 for a programme on the day.

Parade and activities

Kirkstall Festival 2016 will start with parade of local groups and schools traveling along Morris Lane and into the Abbey grounds.

This will then be followed by a full day of activities and entertainment for all ages and tastes.

Battle of Bands will be returning for a second year after a very successful debut in 2015 on the Youth Stage. There will also be a vast array of musicians, dancers and comedians on the main stage and across the site.

A youngster from Farnley gave his view of what Leeds needs at last year's Kirkstall Festival. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch
A youngster from Farnley gave his view of what Leeds needs at last year’s Kirkstall Festival. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch

Plus all our traditional favourites will be present. These include children’s activities, church service, fairground rides, dog show and a wide variety of hot & cold food concessions.

There will also be the largest number of stalls to-date – including many local community groups and organisations.

Ken Stratford

This year’s Festival will also be an opportunity for volunteers and the larger community to celebrate the contribution Ken Stratford made to the Festival, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Our fabulous Festival is a free community fun day aimed to appeal to the whole family and community. As far as we know we may be one of the largest entirely volunteer run and not for profit one-day festival in the UK. We attract crowds of over 20,000 people across the day. The Festival is kindly supported by local councillors, Leeds City Council, grant providers and sponsors.

Each and every one of our volunteers is definitely a local hero/heroine, including our superb programme sellers. If you see one on the day please buy a programme for £2 as all funds go to covering our costs and insuring there is a 37th Festival.

Plus you will have a full guide to everything on across the site.

Kirkstall Art Trail

Our Festival fringe event, Kirkstall Art Trail returns for a second year. This time for a full weekend, 16th & 17th July, and will be building of the success of last year with more artists and venues and plenty of exciting activities.


We also kindly ask that wherever possible attendees take public transport to the Festival, however there is limited free parking available, as well as disabled parking closer to the site.

Kirkstall Festival is well connected for transport. The buses 33, 33A, and 757 go near to site, and the 49, 50, 91, 508, 670, and 760 stop within easy walking distance. There will be limited car park spaces.

Visitors will be able to walk from the recently opened Kirkstall Forge Station, as well as Headingley Station.



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