The drought for summer events is finally over and, this year, Leeds will play host to a brand-new festival, Mardi Gras – Proud in the Park. On Saturday 14th August, Roundhay Park will be transformed into a hub of music, food, entertainment and fairground rides, celebrating love and inclusivity.
Two full-size festival production stages will form the focal point of Mardi Gras which will be located at Soldier’s Fields within Roundhay Park. Stage one will be dedicated to all things house and dance, featuring globally renowned headline acts, such as Jax Jones, SIGALA, Disciples and Gok Wan, with support from some of the best local talent from across the region including Angel Lee, Dale Castell, Essel, Marc Leaf, Tin Tin and Will Tramp.
Stage two will be serving the best in commercial, pop and cabaret acts, featuring Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK acts Frock Destroyers, Tayce, Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea and Divina De Campo, alongside Cheeky Girls, Stephanie Hirst and Danny Beard. There will also be support from Leeds-based DJs and Hosts, including Dave Cooper, Luke Horsfield, Mamma Bear & The Rose and Miss Orry.
DJs Wes and Leanne from LDC Radio Leeds will be hosting from stage two on the day and broadcasting live from the site so even those who can’t be there in person can tune in and feel part of this incredible event.
Speaking about the festival, Co-founder and Organiser, Shaun Wilson, said: “We are so excited for Mardi Gras – Proud in the Park. Whilst Leeds is known for its amazing festivals and events, including carnival in nearby Chapeltown, there hasn’t been anything quite like this before. So many big names have performed on-stage at Roundhay Park over the years and now we get to have it as the home to debut Mardi Gras. With many UK festivals sadly being cancelled for a second year running we felt it was particularly important to spread a little joy and positivity via this unique event.
As well as amazing musical talent, we also have craft and food stalls, plus some white-knuckle fairground rides. It really is going to be a day to remember and we hope it will be the start of a new tradition for the city. It is so important for people to have a safe space to come and enjoy themselves with friends and loved ones and that is exactly what visitors can expect from Mardi Gras.”
Premium independent food traders will be taking over the on-site international food village. Visitors can experience cuisine from around the world, with confirmed food traders including Pizza Loco, Nok Thai Cuisine, Jenny’s Jerk Chicken, Savvy Baker, The Chaat Walas and Pig Love Brewing Co to name a few.
For those visitors wanting a little more bang for their buck, VIP tickets are available, offering fast track entry and exclusive access to the VIP Pavilion which has its own premium cocktail bar. Leeds based Liquor Lab will be creating the refreshing cocktails on the day. From fruit Daiquiri’s to Pornstar Caipiroska’s, the team will be serving VIP customers from their Retro VW campervan named ‘Mabel’. DJs from Federation dance and nightclub, as well as LDC radio will be hosting from this section of the festival.
The market village will be situated between the stages and the fairground rides, providing visitors with the opportunity to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. Local makers will be pulling out all the stops on their craft stalls, selling unique items, lovingly hand-made.
Mardi Gras – Proud in the Park will open at 11am and run until 11pm. For those wanting to continue the celebrations into the early hours, the official After-Party can be found in Teatro at The Warehouse in Leeds city centre.
Terry George, Co-founder and Organiser of Mardi Gras, concluded: “It’s going to be an eclectic, diverse festival with some form of entertainment whichever way you turn. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors and putting Mardi Gras in Leeds officially on the map!”