Sunny Kirkstall Festival 2015: A triumph of volunteering

kirkstall festival
Music of many different beats at Kirkstall Festival 2015. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch

Kirkstall Festival is the biggest community event of its type in the UK – and yesterday the crowds (and sun) came out to make it one of the biggest yet.

kirkstall festival
Punch and Judy under the gaze of the Abbey. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch

Each year the festival at Kirkstall Abbey draws more than 20,000 people from across west Leeds and beyond – and yesterday the event was busier than ever.

Dog shows, music from rock and pop to Star Wars and classical, dozens of stalls, food vendors (those two vegetable samosas for £1.80 were incredible!) and fun fairs all proved popular, with queues everywhere!

Kirkstall festival abbey 2015
Taking a breather with music in Kirkstall Abbey Cloisters

It was great to see som many families from different backgrounds and cultures coming together for a day out.

The most amazing thing is that the festival is run entirely by volunteers – dedicated, hardworking and inspirational people who band together each year to help plan and ensure #kirkfest goes with a bang each year.

A youngster from Farnley gives his view of what Leeds needs at Kirkstall Festival. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch
A youngster from Farnley gives his view of what Leeds needs at Kirkstall Festival. Photo: West Leeds Life/Dispatch

And it’s not just the planning and prep. Legions of volunteers help on the day to get the grounds ready, to steward the event and give their time to sell programmes and the like.

Kirkstall Festival
Heaving: Sunny Kirkstall Festival couldn’t have been any busier. Photograph: West Leeds Life/Dispatch

It’s run by the community for the community. And that’s another reason why Kirkstall Festival is the best. The dedication, professionalism and sheer brilliance of these volunteers is breathtaking. THANK YOU.



  1. The Festival committee would like to wish a big thank you to all the Kirkstall Festival volunteer helpers. The field team volunteers work tirelessly to set out the grounds, make the festival safe, collect litter – you name it, if it happens it because the field team have made it happen. The programme sellers did a magnificent job, raising a record-breaking £5.5k in sales. We cannot stress enough how vital programme sales are to the success of the festival, providing vital information to visitors on the day and enabling us to plan for the 2016 event with a level of financial confidence. Unfortunately, some visitors don’t realise or appreciate that this wonderful free community day out is run entirely by volunteers, working all year round, with limited grants from a few generous bodies. So please spread the word that buying a programme, as well as helping visitors get the most out of the day, is also an easy way of paying a very modest sum for all this wonderousness! Thanks again all you West Leeds stars!


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