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Leeds Dortmund 50 writing & music festival announces full schedule

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

The LD50 (Leeds/Dortmund 50) literature festival has announced an exciting schedule of music and literature events as part of Leeds’ 50th anniversary celebrations with the city of Dortmund.

With the anniversary celebrations just two weeks away, LD50 will celebrate the occasion with a festival of literature and music involving artists from both Leeds and Dortmund.

With the support of Leeds 2023, and led by Leeds, based writer Peter Spafford, LD50 has been in preparation for over 6 months, with over 70 writers of all ages involved from both cities.

The majority of the events will take place at Chapel FM Arts Centre in East Leeds with many of them free (see highlights below). All the events will be broadcast live on East Leeds FM and you cant listen again on

For the full schedule of events click here:

Commenting on the festival Peter Spafford said: “Since 1969, when The Barrel Man or Drayman statue was gifted to Leeds by Dortmund as a token of peace and friendship, all kinds of people have benefited from this ‘sisterhood’ of our two cities including language groups, theatre companies, scientists, students, school children, sports societies and choirs. In fact, the twinning of Leeds choir Harmony with Dortmund’s Florian Singers goes back all 50 years, with numerous visits and concerts and the Florians will be singing in Leeds during the anniversary celebrations.

But LD50 is as much about the future as the past. Those channels of friendship, deepening over half a century, are still open for new exchanges and projects between people from both cities of all ages and backgrounds. At a time when uptake of German language in schools is said to be falling, this would seem an opportune moment for celebrations like Leeds/Dortmund 50.”

As well as welcoming Dortmund writer Ursula Maria Wartmann to Leeds (thanks to DAAD) this October, LD50 will also be sending two writers to Dortmund in May next year. Watch this blog space for more information.

Highlight events in LD50:

  • Sat 5th Oct, 2.45pm: Jazz for Germany.

  • Wed 2nd Oct, 8.30pm: Write Across Borders (1):

  • Mon 30th Sept, 1.30pm:The Downhearted Drayman.

  • Wed 2nd Oct, 7.30pm; Meet The Vets.

  • Sat Oct 12th, 2pm at The Leeds Library:

In addition to the LD50 festival there are lots of other things happening to celebrate the 50 years of partnership between the two cities – for more information click here.

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