Love Arts Festival 2017

Love Arts Festival launches on Wednesday 4 October between 4pm and 6pm at The Light.

The Love Arts Festival is back for a seventh year and is due to take over Leeds City Centre for 15 days in October (4-18 October). During this time, over 100 artists will be celebrating wellbeing and mental health in a truly diverse range of venues, from Leeds Grand Theatre to the Old Red Bus Station, the Arts Café and John Lewis.

Since its inception, the festival, which is organised by the Arts and Minds Network, has gone from strength to strength. It now includes exhibitions, workshops, gigs, films, dance and drama from major companies like Opera North, through to small but perfectly formed initiatives like ‘talk to your taxi driver’, and it’s all to raise the profile of mental health issues in the area.

But what are mental health issues? What is wellbeing, and what defines ‘normal’? In today’s diverse society, there is no such thing as normal. We all have our idiosyncrasies and that’s what makes us human, so please, join us in this city-wide celebration that takes a healthy look at mental health. It’s positive, perky and proud. Think Leeds, with glitter!

According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives (450 million worldwide). With the Leeds population now approaching 800,000 (from 140 ethnic groups) there has never been a better time to raise the profile of these life-changing issues – but this is not just a festival about mental health, it’s about the wellbeing of us all.

The festival launch event will take place on Wednesday 4 October between 4pm and 6pm at The Light, Headrow, Leeds, LS1 7BR. Those who come along can expect the unexpected and a feast for the senses, including the Arts and Minds exhibition, pop-up music and creative workshops. Everyone is welcome to come along to find out more about this remarkable festival and pick up a programme and other Love Arts goodies.

Linda Boyles, Arts and Minds Development Manager, said: “We never imagined when we started the festival seven years ago that it would grow to be such a well-loved and anticipated feature of the Leeds cultural calendar.

“Love Arts has helped chip away at the stigma of mental illness, by showcasing a wealth of undiscovered talent, and demonstrating how creativity can help people recover.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating the festival’s seventh anniversary, and are looking forward to the people of Leeds joining us to celebrate!”

To find out more about Love Arts Leeds, and to see the full programme, visit