Life In Leeds
Adam Young, Artist and Director of Live Art Bistro
Adam, 33, is a former Leeds Beckett student. Since graduating, he’s become a pioneer of the city’s arts and culture scene, as a founder of Live Art Bistro – an artist-led venue and curatorial team which supports the growth of live art practices in the region and encourages artists from further afield to present work in the city.
He tells us why he loves his home city so much, he’s never left.
How long have you lived in Leeds
I’ve always lived here. I was going to move to Bristol when I graduated from Leeds Beckett, but key figures in the local arts scene told me to stick it out and make an impact here in Leeds rather than follow the trend. That was six years ago, and I’m so glad I didn’t move!
What do you think is the most undiscovered part of the city?
It has to be the Mabgate area, where you will find a raft of artist-run spaces for all types, events and fancies. It’s Leeds’s best kept secret.
What's the best thing you've ever done in Leeds?
A 24-hour event I did back in 2012 during the Occupy Movement, where we filled East Street Arts with 50+ performers who went non-stop across two days while members of the public slept in sleeping bags. The whole thing was free and included communal meals lovingly cooked by homeless charity Emmaus.
Give us your top five favourite spots in Leeds, and why
- Wharf Chambers – Leeds’ only cooperatively run bar and venue. Proper queer space and wears politics on its sleeve.
- Darvish in Harehills – best traditional Persian food in Leeds in an area you wouldn’t otherwise normally travel to. Well worth the trip!
- Hyde Park Book Club – the perfect place for chilled out social events. Everything from talks to open DJ decks.
- Old Red Bus Station – some of the best underground club nights in Leeds with local up and coming DJs, regular exhibitions plus a fully vegan cantina.
- Art Hostel – the UK’s first art hostel, designed by and run by artists! It's a social enterprise whose profits go to supporting the arts in the city. Can’t ask for more…
Describe Leeds in three words
Independent. Irreverent. Supportive.
Which city, from anywhere in the world, would you compare Leeds to?
I used to get city envy on my travels around Europe, but now I am finding more and more that I am thankful of what we have when I compare us to northern cities in Spain, Germany and Greece etc.
Top reason(s) why living in Leeds knocks the socks off anywhere else
Affordable living / one of the least rainy places in the UK / collaborative creative scene unlike any other.
Your dream weekend in Leeds - take us through it
Thursday - Karaoke at The Bridge.
Friday - see a show at Live Art Bistro, followed by drinks at Wharf Chambers, quick bite at Ali Babas on Kirkgate then onto Viaduct for some camp cabaret.
Saturday – Breakfast at Wapentake, lunchtime drinks in Outlaws Yacht Club, run across town for a quick drink in Reliance before heading over to Studio 24 for a band and club night.
Sunday – nurse the hangover at 212 Bar before heading home for a day on the sofa catching up on favourite shows.
If you were hosting someone new to the city, where would you take them first?
I always take people to Live Art Bistro as a first port of call. We have such a unique space it’s always a kick to see people’s reactions to it.
Live Art Bistro is on Regent Street, Leeds, LS2 7QA. Visit www.liveartleeds.com to find out more.