Festival of Ideas 2014

The very first Headingley Festival of Ideas ran from 6th – 24th May 2014, with a creative and varied programme of events for all ages and groups.

Events included:

  • What an Idea? – an entertaining evening of music, poetry and sketches
  • ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’, a theme for three separate seminars;
    > Peacekeeping without weapons
    > Tequila Night: Has Lad Culture Gone Too Far?
    > Bridging the Gap (Journey to Israel-Palestine)
  • An exciting Schools Debate
  • A wonderful evening of piano music and ideas with Sam Watts

Other events involved Shire Oak Woodcraft, Headingley Litfest, Café Scientifique, Frances Bernstein with free Range Choir, local election hustings, local heritage cycle tour and a workshop – ‘Create your Future’.

Half the events were FREE ENTRY and half were ticketed.

The co-ordinating Group fundraised to supplement seedcorn grants from local Councillors and HDT. We collected at events and a donation from the Richard Crossley memorial fund means that the Festival has a healthy balance to start this year’s Festival which will be held in October 2015.

Thanks to our 2014 Sponsors:

  • Local Ward Councillors
  • Headingley Development Trust
  • Sainsburys
  • Hammond & Coombs Dental Care
  • Café Lento Beechwood Garage
  • Art & the Secret Garden Café
  • Oasis Hair Leed
  • Giorgio’s Ristorante Italiano

ARC Restaurant and Hyde Park Cinema donated prizes.

Download: PDF version of final report

For more info, contact:

Headingley HEART: 0113 275 4548
Email: headingley.festivalofideas@gmail.com
Twitter: @headingleyideas
Facebook: www.facebook.com/headingleyfestivalofideas


6 May Headingley Library 7.00 – 9.00pm Poppies Red or White?
In tandem with Headingly Litfest
7 May Heart Cafe 7.30 – 9.30pm Local Election Hustings
In tandem with Headingley Network
11 May The Rose Garden,
North Lane
10am – 12noon Wheeling round Headingley:
literary ideas past and present
12 May New Headingley Club 7.30pm From dust to dust – a cosmic cycle
In tandem with Cafe Scientifique
15 May Heart Cafe 7.30 – 10.00pm Breaking the cycle of violence 1:
Peacekeeping without weapons
16 May Heart – Shire Oak 7.30pm What! An Idea?
In tandem with Trio Literati
17 May New Headingley Club noon – 4.00pm Cycle to recycle
In tandem with Shire Oak Woodcraft Folk
17 May Heart – Shire Oak 7.30pm Sam Watts – composer & pianist
In tandem with Jazz at Heart
19 May Heart – Shire Oak 4.30 – 9.00pm Headingley Schools debate
In tandem with Leeds Salon and Debating Matters
20 May Heart – Shire Oak 7.00 – 9.00pm Breaking the cycle of Violence 2:
Tequila Night – Has lad culture gone too far?
In tandem with Leeds Salon
22 May Heart – Cafe 7.30pm Breaking the Cycle of violence 3:
Bridging the Gap
In tandem with Leeds Together for Peace
23 May Heart – Shire Oak 8pm Sing Freedom
In tandem with Free Range Choir
24 May Heart – first floor suite 10.30am – 2.30pm Create Your Future

The Festival of Ideas is supported by Headingley Development Trust.

Free entry, but donation towards Festival of Ideas welcome
There will be a charge (see particular item in table below)


• HEART: Bennett Road;
• Headingley Library: North Lane;
• New Headingley Club: 56 St Michael’s Road;
• Rose Garden: North Lane.


6 May 7 May 11 May
Poppies Red or White?
Headingley Library

The Women’s Cooperative Guild made and sold their own white poppies in 1933 before its wider adoption. It has been both supported and vilified ever since. Why?

This discussion/debate will explore how the white poppy has been perceived with both speakers and audience members contributing to what it is hoped will be a lively first event.

In tandem with Headingley Litfest.

Local Election Hustings

Headingley Network, the community association for central Headingley, hosts an evening of debate and discussion featuring candidates in the May elections from all the parties.

Questions relating to the political ‘cycles’ – boom and bust; left/right swings; climate cycles etc. – will be encouraged!

In tandem with Headingley Network.

Wheeling Round Headingley
Start from The Rose Garden, North Lane


A family cycle ride stopping for a short discussion at houses of people of literary note who lived in Headingley.

12 May 15 May 16 May
From dust to dust: a cosmic cycle
New Headingley Club

Prof Alan Harris, DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin will talk on collisions between planetesimals, the precursors of present-day asteroids and comets, and growing planets which forged the Solar System around 4.5 billion years ago. Planetesimals from diverse regions of the planetary disk probably enriched the early Earth and other planets in minerals, water, and organic materials.

In later epochs, impacts of asteroids and comets on the Earth may have abruptly altered the course of evolution and paved the way for mankind.

However, this natural process has not ceased. In particular, the current population of so-called near-Earth asteroids contains many objects that are considered potentially hazardous.

Prof Harris will discuss the origin of our Solar System, the contribution of asteroids and comets to the development of life, and the steps being taken to improve our understanding of the present-day impact hazard and determine what defensive measures are appropriate.

In tandem with Café Scientifique.


Breaking the cycle of violence:
Peacekeeping without weapons


Dr Rachel Julian will talk about Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP)

… to summarise: that using weapons and threats of violence in peacekeeping maintains the cycle of violence, but using nonviolence theory and building trust and communication through UCP is an integral component in breaking cycles of violence.


What! An Idea?;
HEART Shire Oak Room

Trio Literati present poems, songs and sketches on the idea of ideas — what are they? how do they work? how does one idea lead to another….? And how do you react – is it with “Eureka!” or just “Er…” ?

10131 FOI_Head_PR_CS4

A light-hearted cafe-style concert of words and music to set the brain cells fizzing.

With poet Linda Marshall and music by young professionals from Leeds Opera Venture.

Tickets £7.00 including wine and cake from HEART Centre, Bennett Road.

All proceeds to the Schools and Outreach programme of the Leeds Lieder Festival.


In tandem with Trio Literati.

17 May 17 May 19 May
Woodcraft  Recycle Fete
New Headingley Clubre-cycle

Join us for music, mud, paint, games, food and more!

Bike painting – Painting a piece representing the cycle of the seasons!

Recycle Picnic – Buy one of our packed lunches and use the packaging to create fun and useful stuff!

Free Shop – Bring what you don’t want and take away what you need!

PLUS MUCH MORE! Including:Face painting! Pedal powered music! Drinks and cakes! Popcorn! Woodcraft info stall! and Cooperative games!

In tandem with Shire Oak Woodcraft Folk.

Sam Watts in Concert
HEART Shire Oak Room

Pianist and composer Sam Watts gives a solo piano concert, interspersed with some of his thoughts and ideas about music.

He will be talking about how we listen to and perceive music and in a fun, non-technical way thinking about exactly how it works and how we can better understand it, with illustrated examples.

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and discuss the ideas collectively. The concert will include music by Duke Ellington, Claude Debussy, traditional Brazilian music, and many others as well as Sam’s own compositions.

Tickets: £8 (£5 concs)

sam watts

In tandem with Jazz at Heart.

Schools Debate
HEART Shire Oak Room

Headingley students from Year 10 and 11 pitch their wits against each other in this debating competition in front of judges.

Leeds Salon

In tandem with Leeds Salon.

20 May 22 May 23 May
Breaking the cycle of violence:
Tequila Night: Has Lad Culture Gone Too Far?

Leeds Salon premiers a short documentary, followed by panel discussion, examining the recent high profile campaign by Leeds’ students against Tequila Night, sparked by a promotional video for a ‘Violate a Fresher’ theme night. It features the views of protestors, the council, and club goers on the campaign, lad culture and the closure of Mezz Club.

Tickets: £3 to pay on the door. To book a place visit www.leedssalon.org.uk.

Breaking the cycle of violence:
Bridging the Gap


In April 2013 4 Muslims and 4 Jews from Leeds went on a learning journey to Israel-Palestine.

Join some of the group in conversation about how dialogue contributed to a profound and powerful experience.

In tandem with Leeds Together for Peace.

Sing Freedom
HEART Shire Oak Room

When ANC activist Rusty Bernstein was tried for his life alongside Nelson Mandela, his family’s life changed for ever.

In ‘Sing Freedom’, his daughter Frances tells a deeply personal story, with the liberation struggle vividly recalled in songs of the apartheid era authentically sung by Free Range.

In tandem with Free Range Choir.

24 May
Create Your Future

Want to change the world but don’t know where to start? This event is for you!This dynamic and unique workshop will close the Headingley Festival of Ideas with dialogue and discussion that is totally participant driven: the agendas will be entirely set by you, your ideas and your passions.

Using the world renowned Open Space Technology method, the event will engage everyone in the room to share their ideas and create something new.

Focusing on the theme ‘How can we create the future that we want?’ the workshop will be facilitated by Tony Herrmann, an experienced community development practitioner, trainer and facilitator, and long time Headingley resident.

Start a conversation /  Start a group /  Start a movement /  Start a revolution

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