Sunday, 10 July 2011

Kirkstall Festival

Yesterday I went to Kirkstall Festival in Leeds, which isn't too far from my new home held at the impressive Kirkstall Abbey.

Having not been before I wasn't sure what to expect of it, but was pleasantly surprised.  Lots of activities for families to watch or participate in, rides for the kids (I'm disappointed we never made it on the waltzers), bands playing, stalls selling bits and pieces for various charities and local schools etc, the Marvellous Tea Dance Company putting on a tea dance, and selling Pimms, and of course a beer tent.   There were also lots of food vendors, ranging from the box standard burgers and hot dogs right through to vegetarian and then fish and chips with a twist.

I opted for a Mackerel Bap from local food heroes Fish&.  I was torn between that and the taster portion of fish and chips, but having heard so much about the Mackbap I couldn't resist trying one.

I've only had Mackerel once before, when I made an ill-fated attempt at using it for kedgeree. It was vile...  This on the other hand was lovely - crispy, tasty fish with a delicious lemon mayonnaise.  It restored my faith in mackerel....

After the grub we headed to the beer tent, I opted for a cider, Katie had a beer from Kirkstall Brewery.  Both went down well... We had a brief sit down by the river and people watch, and then headed to watch local band Hope and Social, who I'd heard lots about, but never seen before.

The band's enthusiasm was infectious, we all loved them and were nodding, foot tapping and bopping along to the tunes.  They're a bit happier than my usual taste in music, but I really enjoyed it.

I had a lovely afternoon, especially catching up with a few tweeters, @wandapops, @monkeyson, @CatNamedEaster, @Decknologist and of course my guide to Kirkstall from Hyde Park @Katie_Buffalo.


  1. We caught a bit of that band! Had no idea who they were, but they were good fun. Must be amazing to play in the Abbey. It was a good festival (dog show a particular highlight) but it didn't keep us entertained for as long as the I Love West Leeds festival in Bramley Park last week! Maybe we should have gone many amazing looking food stalls.


  2. I was next door at Burley rugby club at their sevens tournament, I had every intention of having a walk round but things got a little busy and I never got round to it.
    You may be interested in the Rodley music and beer festival at the end of august its over three days and gets better every year, I haven't seen a set list yet but last year there were 60 or so local bands,,


  3. @Penny - I didn't get to ILWL unfortunately so can't compare. I had a lovely afternoon though!

    @David - thanks for that, I'll have a look at the Rodley festival!

  4. That looks like so much fun - and I'd love to try a Mackbap!! Will have to keep my eyes open for more local foodie stuff going on.


  5. Oh sorry i missed that but had family party committments. Do you go to the Kirkstall deli market at the end of the month? It's fab.

  6. @Seren - the mackbap is lovely, I hope you can find one near you!

    @Jen - I haven't been to the deli market yet, but I might go to the end of July one...I'm trying to avoid spending excessively on cheese etc....

  7. Ooh, was just looking for photos of H&S at the Abbey (I'm in the band, and blogging about festivals tomorrow), and happened upon your Kirkstall Festival post. It's a lovely festival I think. Really feels like a community coming together I think.

    Glad you enjoyed us. Hope we weren't too cheery
    We've plenty of sad and desolate songs too for less festivally/sunny days, it's all Pay What You Want (including free) up at, so if you want to give us a listen, you can.

    We're at Kirkstall again this year! See you there? I'm @thehuxcapacitor on twitter too BTW. 'twaould be lovely to say hi there too. ;)


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