Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023: Full programme revealed

The highly anticipated full programme for the Leeds International Festival of Ideas (LIFI23) has been released, featuring an impressive line-up of speakers, performers and thinkers from all corners of the world. The festival will run from September 27th-30th at Leeds Playhouse and promises to be an exciting and thought-provoking event for all who attend.

With a 40% increase in capacity and subsidised tickets still only costing £10-15, this year’s festival is the largest to date, featuring five panel chats, five fireside chats, and over thirty speakers. LIFI23 is proving to be an essential part of the Leeds event calendar now. 

IMAGE: Krishnan Guru-Murthy is one of the new names for LIFI23

Questions and topics appearing at the festival this year include “When will women’s health be taken seriously? Could living The Good Life save the planet? What’s our obsession with true crime? Who does our political system benefit? And How do we talk about grief? With the fireside chats raking in identity, mental health, digital currency, invisible rule of law and the new generation of entrepreneurism. 

This year’s festival includes an all-star lineup of names from the world of entertainment, politics, business and more such as TV celebrities Davina McCall, Dame Prue Leith, Will Young, Matt Baker MBE, Tommy Banks, Jay Blades MBE, Gemma Whelan, Amber Rudd, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Rob Rinder, Sir Jon Cuncliffe, and many more. These esteemed speakers, performers and authors will join the already announced Bimini, Ruby Wax OBE, and Steven Bartlett to make the festival an event not to be missed.

IMAGE: Will Young is one of the new names for LIFI23

Will Young, appearing at LIFI23 says: “I’m excited to be part of a festival exploring many of the things that make us human. It’s so important not only to ask these questions of each other, but to spend time listening when we don’t have all the answers. What a fantastic line up!”

Martin Dickson, Leeds International Festival of Ideas: “We are thrilled to be able to announce the full programme for the Leeds International Festival of Ideas. This year’s festival promises to be an exciting and thought-provoking event, and we are proud to have an exceptional line-up of speakers and performers. We look forward to welcoming attendees from all over the world to Leeds and creating a space for dialogue and discussion.”

Leeds Playhouse, Artistic Director and CEO James Brining said: “It is so exciting to see the range of artists and speakers attending Leeds International Festival 2023.  All are individuals at the top of their game and using their platforms to amplify the voices of others as well as exploring issues of importance and significance for contemporary society.

At Leeds Playhouse, our aim is to open up our theatre, with its flexible conference spaces and three auditoria, welcoming local, national and international artists to the region, facilitating conversations and sharing stories that reflect the world we live in.  We also aim to celebrate Leeds as a culture rich, vibrant city and hosting LIFI in 2023 certainly helps us achieve that goal.”

IMAGE: Davina McCall leads new names for LIFI23

Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2023, brought to the city by LeedsBID, working in partnership with Weightmans and The Hoot as media partners, presents a programme of conversation, connection and curiosity, The four-day event is designed to bring together a diverse group of experts, thought-leaders, and innovators to discuss the most pressing issues facing our world today. 

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the conversation. Join us at the Leeds International Festival of Ideas from September 27th to 30th.

Tickets go on sale April 4 at 18:30 – www.leedsintfest.com 

Names of those appearing at LIFI23

Matt Baker MBE, Tommy Banks, Steven Bartlett, Bimini, Jay Blades MBE, Tom Brake, Flavia Cacace-Mistry, Sir Jon Cunliffe, Tom Duff Gordon, Dr Christine Ekechi, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Dr Jamilla Hussain, Dame Prue Leith, Clare Lewis, Silvan Luley, Magid Magid, Lauren Mahon, Davina McCall, Richard McCann, Rob Rinder, Amber Rudd, Dr Coltan Scrivner, Louise Shorter, Lucy Turner, Ruby Wax OBE, Scarlett Westbrook, Gemma Whelan, Mark Williams-Thomas and Will Young.

Full list of events

DatePanelFireside Chat
Wednesday 27 Sept7pm When will women’s health be taken seriously?w/ Davina McCall, Dr Christine Ekechi and Lauren Mahon + more TBA7:30pm Steven Bartlett A New Generation Of Entrepreneurism
Thursday 28 Sept (afternoon)n/a12pmRob Rinder Invisible rule of law
Thursday 28 Sept(evening)7pm Could living The Good Life save the planet? w/ Matt Baker, Tommy Banks, Jay Blades MBE, Flavia Cacace and Clare Lewis7:30pm Bimini A world beyond the binary
Friday 29 Sept7pm What is our obsession with True Crime? w/ Louise Shorter, Richard McCann, Coltan Scrivner, Gemma Whelan and Mark Williams-Thomas7:30pm Ruby Wax My Journey To Mindfulness
Saturday 30 Sept (afternoon)2:30pm Who does our political system benefit? w/ Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Tom Brake, Magid Magid, Amber Rudd and Scarlett Westbrook3pm Sir Jon Cunliffe and Tom Duff Gordon Other Side Of The Coin
Saturday 30 Sept (evening)7pm How do we talk about grief? w/ Dame Prue Leith, Jamilla Hussain, Silvan Luley, Lucy Turner and Will Young

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