Make the most of the August Bank Holiday weekend with our guide to some of the coolest things to see and do in Brighton, Liverpool and Leeds. And if the weather isn’t looking all that sunny, fear not! There’s a host of indoor attractions to check out too.
The decked-out mopeds and sleek haircuts are set to roll back in to Brighton this bank holiday as Mod Weekender returns to its spiritual home on 25 and 26 August. Massively popular with Mods old and new, the scenester event will see the UK’s most popular seaside resort decked out with djs, bands, vintage and bespoke clothing stalls, record market and memorabilia. Volks Tavern, just east of the iconic Brighton Pier where the scooters arrived en masse in the Mod movie Quadrophenia, will feature as the focus of events for Saturday and Sunday. Entry is completely free and there’s an outside terrace too. Live bands on saturday include Elgazelle and Shake 101 followed by sunday’s scooter competition and a trip out to Beachy Head and back. The party continues into the wee hours too, where you can throw stylish shapes to Pin Ball Wizard and other iconic tunes in your slickest mod suit. Booking is strongly advised as this is an extremely popular weekend. Wonder if Bradley Wiggins will be there…
Have a nose around the Royal Pavilion. Once a regal bachelor pad to George IV, you can discover more about this wonderfully exotic royal palace with an audio tour that will have you gasping and gawping from beginning to end.
Before the mod phenomenon shook up 1960s youth culture, there were a certain four young lads from Liverpool causing a raucous with their bowl haircuts and promises of hand holding. 2012 marks 50 years since The Beatles first took to the stage, and you can celebrate every era of the fab four – from four bright-eyed chaps singing pop hits that had teenage girls in lust-fuelled hysterics, to their more experimental phase when they donned kaleidoscopic costumes and bellowed out “I am the Walrus” – at the International Beatles Week. Taking place from 22 to 28 August, get twisting and shouting to one of many live tribute acts in the Cavern Club, hop on a Magical Mystery Tour to explore the many sites that influenced there sound and snoop around John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s bedrooms with the National Trust.
Head to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 25 August for Live Peace in Liverpool: A Musical Tribute to John Lennon. Lennon’s solo and Beatles work will be highlighted by some of the world’s best, including Jon Keats, Mark Staycer, Working Class Hero and Gary Gibson.
The streets of Leeds are transformed every year with dazzling costumes, infectious beats and a vibrant atmosphere as the Leeds Carnival procession travels to Potternewton Park from 24 – 27 August. Europe’s longest running West Indian spectacular is the biggest summer carnival outside of London, and this year it celebrates its 45th anniversary so you can expect even bigger and bolder feather-clad costumes and a buzzing party vibes for all to enjoy.
Hunt for a one-off designs beneath the glorious Victorian dome of the Corn Exchange, shuffle through the nearby vintage shops or mooch around the swish boutiques of the Victoria Quarter, and bag Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton goodies.