Festival of Ideas 2015

The second Headingley Festival of Ideas took place in October 2015 with 19 different events plus 2 art exhibitions. The events were attended by almost 750 people.

The theme this year was ‘change’, which stimulated a wide range of exciting activities. Highlights included:

  • Philosophy in Pubsa dynamic debate on mood swings in current politics hosted by Arcadia
  • Sound Tracks to ChangeLawnswood Community Choir entertaining with songs that provided a ‘soundtrack to social and political change’
  • Leeds Changes for Good a moving evening of discussion and storytelling about migration led by Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network
  • The Woman Without a Number – an incredibly powerful evening led by Iby Knill, a holocaust survivor, author and storyteller
  • Other events were an Open Space workshop: Creating a Sustainable Headingley, Changing Headingley (open meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Forum), a preview of ‘The Glass Cyphers art installation, Local Poets for Change, a workshop focused on King Lear, Lishi Arts, Café Scientifique, Using your Voice for Change, Subversive Peacemakers at St Michael’s Church, Music at Lento’s & Jazz at Heart, and Apple Day.

Planning & Organising

Volunteers on the Festival committee put the programme together with many events organised and run by local people . We are proud of our association with Headingley Litfest, Cafe Sci and Leeds Salon for their collaboration with us.The Festival is now an independent group affiliated to the Headingley Development Trust.


The Festival was publicised in local newsletters, North Leeds Life and mostly by leaflets and a well designed programme distributed by volunteers at Headingley Market and in local shops and venues. Information was also provided on a Festival page hosted by HDT, a Facebook page and Twitter account. Another success was the distribution of hundreds of drinks mats using the same design colours and logo.


We are grateful to again receive funding from local Councillors and some generous donations from local businesses and organisations. A grant from St Chad’s Small Grants Fund helped enormously and we also held collections at many events with people giving generously. Together with a raffle and refreshment sales, all combined to add up to a total income of £1,725

Expenditure on publicity, programmes, venues and refreshments totalled £1,177 leaving a healthy balance of £548 to put into reserves for the next Festival!


We are very grateful to all our sponsors for generous donations.

  • St Chad’s Fund
  • Local Ward Councillors
  • Hammond & Coombs Dental Care
  • Café Lento
  • Fancy Dress Experience
  • Art & the Secret Garden Café
  • Treadmill Physios

To Pizza Express,Sainsbury’s, Salvo’s, Morrison’s, Pizza Express, Hyde Park Cinema and a number of individuals for donating prizes

And to William H Brown for printing and distributing leaflets.

Particular thanks go to all the local organisations that organised Festival events, Bryn Abbot of Kitzo for the programme design, and all the committee members that worked so hard to mount and develop this exciting new event in the Headingley calendar.


Headingley Festival of Ideas 2015

   Venues    Sponsors
    34 Arndale Centre, LS6 2UE

   Bare Coffee
    Weetwood Lane, LS16 5LX

   Café Lento
    21a North Lane, LS6 3HW

    3 Arndale Centre, LS6 2UE

   HEARTPh 0113 275 4548
    Bennett Road, LS6 3HN

   Headingley Library
    North Lane, LS6 3HG

   Headingley Parish Hall
    St Michael’s Road, LS6 3AW

   Left Bank
    Cardigan Road, LS6 1LJ

   New Headingley Club
    56 St Michael’s Road, LS6 3BG

   St Michael’s Church
    St Michael’s Road, LS6 3AW


   58 Stainbeck Rd., LS7 2PW

   6 Weetwood Lane, LS16 5LS

   Headingley Med. Centre, 1 Shire Oak Street, LS6 2AF

   88 Otley Road, LS6 4BA

    21a North Lane, LS6 3HW

 Supported by

  Pizza Express
9-10 Arndale Centre

12-16, Arndale Centre

  Morrisons M Local
25-27 Arndale Centre

  William H Brown Estate Agents
1a Arndale Centre


Sat 3 Heart 1-5pm Creating a Sustainable Headingley
Tues 6 Headingley
Parish Hall
7-9pm Changing Headingley: for better or worse?
Tue 6 Left Bank
7-7.45pm The Glass Cyphers Installation Preview – Exhibition open to public Oct 8 – 10th
Tues 6 Heart till 17 Oct Art Exhibition
Wed 7 Arcadia 7.30-9pm Philosophy in Pubs
Thu 8 Library 7-9pm Local Poets for Change
Thu 8 Heart 7.30-9pm Drama Workshop: King Lear & Change
Fri 9 New Headingley Club 7-8.30pm Sound Tracks to Change
Fri 9 Heart 7.30–9.30pm Leeds, Changes for Good
– Free, but booking recommended. See listing
Sun 11 St Michael’s
Parish Hall
11am-1pm Daoist Art of Lishi
Mon 12 New Headingley Club 7.30pm Cafe Scientifique: Health Freaks on Trial:
Changing views of Home Remedies
Tue 13 Headingley Library 7-8.30pm A Woman Without a Number
Wed 14 Bare Coffee 7-9pm Taste and Morals: coffee event
Thu 15 Costa Coffee 7.30–9.30pm Speaking to Persuade: The Ancient Art of Rhetoric
Fri 16 St Michael’s Church 7pm Subversive Peacemakers
Fri 16 Cafe Lento 8pm Music at Lento’s
Fri 16 Heart 8-10.30pm Jazz
– Ticketed event. See listing for details
Sat 17 Heart 1-5pm Apple Day
Sat 17 New Headingley Club 2-4pm Comic Power


 3 Oct

 6 Oct

 6 Oct

 6 Oct


Changing Headingley: for better or worse?

7pm / Headingley
Parish Hall

Open meeting on the Forum proposals for Headingley Neighbourhood Plan

Headingley has changed radically over the years since its rural beginnings – and mostly due to outside influences. It’s still changing now. Can Headingley community influence the way we change in the future? We think so. Join us if you have a view!

A summary of proposals will be available before the event here.


Art Installation Preview

7-7.45pm / Left Bank

The Glass Cyphers


A new collaboration between film maker/digital artist Paul Miller and glass artist Griet Beyaert.

During a seven week project they will experiment combining intricate glass sculptures with the innovative technique of projection mapping, transforming Left banks interior with a collection of seemingly self-contained, floating light-spaces.

Paul and Griet will be talking/demonstrating their work in progress.


The finished work will be shown on 8, 9 & 10 Oct.

Art Exhibition

6–17 October / HEART


Whilst enjoying the other events taking
place at this year’s festival of ideas why not take a meander around the Ridge Room at Heart, where you’ll find a plethora of artwork by local artists in celebration of this year’s festival.

You’ll be met by a wide range of work ranging from Illustration to Jewellery Design, it really is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate these skilled, talented artists in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Call Heart Reception beforehand to check the room is available for viewing the exhibition.


Creating a Sustainable Headingley

1-5pm / HEART

Many people and groups in Headingley are already working to tackle the impact of Climate Change, develop local and sustainable food projects, campaign on fossil fuels, improve the local environment and much more. Can we do more if we work together? This Open Space style workshop is for everyone who wants to share their experience and contribute to taking action together in Headingley to tackle Climate Change?

Participants will set the agenda, focusing on the question: How can we best collaborate to change Headingley into a powerful, resilient and sustainable community?

Facilitated by Tony Hermann from Leeds Carbon Conversations

Tickets are free but limited, so please book: here

7 Oct

8 Oct

8 Oct

9 Oct

Philosophy in Pubs

7.30pm / Arcadia

‘Blue funks and red lines – identifying mood swings in Recent British politics’

With John Douglas

As political rhetoric often overwhelms political principle most people may be in a “blue funk” about election results. Furthermore few people believe politicians claiming that there are “red lines” that they will not cross.

John Douglas addresses the relationship between rhetoric and principle in British politics.

Local Poets for Change

7.15-9pm / Headingley Library

Ten exciting poets with exciting new ideas!

Well known poets Helen More, James Nash, Linda Marshall, Becky Cherriman and others will be reading their work on the theme of ‘Change’. Come to be inspired and expand your mind!



Drama Workshop

7.30pm / HEART
(Ridge Room)

‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!’

Taking a speech from King Lear (Act 3, scene 2), drDavid Robertson of Theatre of the Dales leads a workshop looking at the impact of extreme Change for Lear from a fool of a tyrant, through a mental maelstrom, to a man of compassion and grace.

Sound Tracks to Change

7-8.30pm / New Headingley Club


Songs can provide a ‘soundtrack’ to personal, social and political change. Change can create strong emotions – fear, hope, confusion – which music both expresses and provokes.

These different aspects of change are represented in a set of songs performed by Lawnswood School Community Choir.

9 Oct

11 Oct

12 Oct

13 Oct

Leeds, Changes for Good

How refugees have changed Leeds, and how Leeds has changed them.

7.30-9.30pm / HEART

An evening of discussion and story-telling, hosted by Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network.

The legacy left by different waves of migration is a thriving economy and rich cultural heritage. But Leeds has not always been a place of welcome or sanctuary. We will be joined by refugees, volunteers, activists, politicians and local residents, all sharing their stories

Tickets are free but limited, so please book: bit.ly/leedschangedforgood

Lishi Arts

11am – 1pm / Headingely Parish Hall

Come and experience the Daoist Arts of Lishi and discover for yourself how the theory of Yin and Yang could help you change your thoughts, feelings and actions so you feel better on the inside and flow gracefully with the external changes of life. This highly interactive session will give you practical lessons that will transform how you respond to change physically, mentally and emotionally.


Cafe Scientifique


7.30pm / New Headingley Club

Health Freaks on Trial: Changing views of Home Remedies

Speaker: Martin Bland, Professor of Health Statistics, University of York

In 2013, Channel 4 broadcast “Health Freaks”, a series of six programs on some rather bizarre home remedies. Martin was advisor and statistical analyst for four clinical trials in this series. He will be talking about how this came about and describing each of the trials, their sometimes surprising results and his seconds of televisual fame.

The Woman Without A Number

7-8.30pm / New Headingley Libray

Ilby Knil survived the Holocaust after helping the Resistance in Hungary, being caught and tortured and transported to Auschwitz. She did not speak of these experiences for more than half a century.

Now, after her husband’s death and at the age of 91 she feels the need to explore how we might stop the continuing murder and genocide that are still happening. Her book, The Woman Without A Number, is a testament to resilience and courage. Come and hear Ilby, a most remarkable woman, tell her story, followed by discussion of what society needs to change.

14 Oct

15 Oct

16 Oct

16 Oct

Taste and Morals:

A Participatory Coffee Event

7-9pm / Bare Coffee

Coffee seems to have overtaken tea as England’s favourite drink, and Bare Coffee is one of Headingley’s most exciting new coffee joints. (You can get tea there too!) But are we always drinking something that is ethically sound? And what about the taste? Come talk about the ethics and aesthetics of coffee with Dr Aaron Meskin, a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. Tasting included!


Use Your Voice for Change

7.30-9.30pm / Costa Coffee

Speaking to Persuade: The Ancient Art of Rhetoric


Everyone has ideas to contribute. But sometimes it’s difficult to get yourself heard, let alone make you speech engaging, persuasive and memorable. Speaking to Persuade is an interactive session on techniques for effective public speaking; with opportunity to practice communicating ideas.

Run by Jane Oakshott MBE

Subversive Peacemakers

7pm / St. Michael’s Church

Oh What a Lovely War-Resistance!

Discover the stories of people courageous enough to resist the First World War’s recruitment campaigns and conscription. 100 years ago, who in Headingley opposed the war and why did they do it? What kinds of politics, what kinds of patriotism, what kinds of faith did they have? Clive Barrett, Chair of the Peace Museum, Bradford, gives an illustrated presentation on the conscientious objectors of the First World War, interspersed with examples of the music that inspired them. Come and sing along to songs of courage and conscience. With help from the choir of St Michael’s Church.

Music at Lento’s

8pm / Cafe Lento


‘My particular love is jazz and running alongside is my fascination with world music. Hence, for this event I have chosen a group of musicians who encompass both strands. When jazz musicians play they often use a phrase ‘to call the changes’.
Cafe Lento

The band is called ‘Manjula’ and they play Latin, Indian and Mauritian strains of music.


16 Oct

17 Oct

17 Oct


Jazz at Heart

8-10.30pm / HEART (Shire Oak Room)

Jazz-at-Heart presents ‘Musical changes: an illustrated history’. Following the huge success of our two previous talks/recitals by pianist Sam Watts, this talk will be presented by another excellent young musician, Matt Anderson, who will illustrate his talk with live renditions of the music of a range of periods.


Tickets from HEART £8
(£6 concs).

Further details on

Apple Day

1-5pm / HEART

A fun day for all the family with a variety of events, including:

Apple pressing, morris dancing, discussion workshop, children’s entertainment, live music, tombola and refreshments. Find out about making your own cider and creating a bee friendly garden.

apple day

Comic Power

2-4pm / New Headingley Club

An amazing and unique opportunity to learn how to make Comics that challenge social issues and change the world!

We are the UK sister group of World Comics based in India. We are all trained by Sharad Sharma, founder of World Comics, and through using his taught methodology and inspiring concept we will show you not only how to create a powerful comic but also teach you how your comic will be used as a tool to create positive social change in your community. Join us for a taster session during this year’s Festival of Ideas!


Been to an event? You can fill out a feedback form here: festival-of-ideas-feedback

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