Public safety continues to be our priority. We’re doing all we can to keep you safe at our venue. Please remember we do not permit backpacks or large bags and you will be screened upon arrival. Read more about our safety policy here. Read more

Event Calendar

Conference & Hospitality Show

The conference & Hospitality Show is the largest MICE exhibition outside London and is THE event for event planners, agents, venue finders and EAs/PAs.If you are responsible for organising exhibitions, conferences, meetings large and small, sales team meetings or anything in between, CHS19 is for you. Come along to learn, develop new skills, find great new venues and suppliers and be treated like the rockstar organiser that you are! If you rock the events world, you don’t want to miss CHS19.


Dates Available
30 Apr 2019   
first direct bank presents: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

The FD Bar at the first direct arena hosts Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club in association with first direct bank. All the shows are different with ever changing line ups at each night. Each show has four top professional comics including the MC. Comedians off the telly from such shows as BBCs Mock the Week, Michael Mcintyre's comedy roadshow, etc. Plus the best of the rest. The likes of Jason Manford, Sarah Millican and John Bishop all performed on Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club nights before they hit the big time. So come and see more brilliant comedians.

Dates Available
03 May 2019   
Legacy Cheerleading - RISE UP 2019

LEGACY RISE UP SUPER REGIONAL CHEER & DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS has moved to first direct Arena in Leeds! This spectacular competitive, theatrical, and athletic event is your "must do" May destination.  It’s easy to get to, the atmosphere is fantastic, and it’s all in a world-class venue you’ll LOVE! This venue features plenty of gorgeous theatre-style seating… and in typical Legacy innovation style, we’re bringing a brand new immersive layout to this event where spectators can appreciate a brand new perspective of production.

Dates Available
11th & 12th May 2019   
Unibet Premier League Darts

THE world's top darts stars are set to return to The First Direct Arena in Leeds for the 2019 Unibet Premier League on Thursday May 16, featuring the likes of world number one Michael van Gerwen and colourful Peter "Snakebite" Wright .Reigning World Champion Rob Cross and two-time Premier League winner Gary Anderson are also expected to be part of the field for next year's tournament alongside some of the sport's most exciting stars.The season's final league night will see the Premier League return to Leeds, with four matches set to take place as the Play-Off spots are confirmed.


Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler, one of the most critically and commercially successful artists of all time, has announced a date at the first direct arena with his band in 2019. Hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Mark Knopfler has sold in excess of 120 million albums across his Dire Straits and solo career, and many of his songs have become standards, including ‘Money For Nothing’, ‘Sultans Of Swing’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Walk Of Life’. He has released eight solo albums as well as recording ‘Neck And Neck’ with guitar great Chet Atkins, and collaborated with Emmylou Harris on ‘All The Roadrunning’.


Olly Murs

Olly Murs Is Back! Visting the first direct arena in 2019 he is now firmly established in his red chair as a judge on The Voice, Olly has five multi-platinum albums under his belt, 4 #1 UK albums, 4# UK singles and 6 #1 airplay tracks. He has over 17.5m followers across his socials and without doubt is the X Factor’s most successful male artist ever.



first direct bank presents: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

The FD Bar at the first direct arena hosts Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club in association with first direct bank. All the shows are different with ever changing line ups at each night. Each show has four top professional comics including the MC. Comedians off the telly from such shows as BBCs Mock the Week, Michael Mcintyre's comedy roadshow, etc. Plus the best of the rest. The likes of Jason Manford, Sarah Millican and John Bishop all performed on Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club nights before they hit the big time. So come and see more brilliant comedians.

Dates Available
24 May 2019   
Rita Ora

Rita Ora has announced her Phoenix UK tour for 2019 including a date here at the first direct arena. Ora's tour comes in support of her second studio album which shares the same name. It features a host of guest artists including Avicii, Liam Payne, Cardi B, Charli XCX and Julia Michaels. The record follows up the singer's hugely successful debut album, Ora

Strictly Come Dancing - The Professionals

Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals is coming to Leeds first direct arena. Direct from BBC One’s award-winning prime time TV show Strictly Come Dancing, this glamorous production will bring together some of our much-loved Strictly Professional dancers as they take to the stage to dazzle with their dance prowess. Audiences will enjoy the incredible talent of these world-class dancers as they perform exquisitely choreographed Ballroom and Latin routines with all the sequins, sparkle and stunning production values we have come to know and love!


Cherish Conference

Join us for Cherish 2019 with guest speakers Priscilla Shirrer & DawnChere Wilkerson. Every year woman from all over the world gather for Cherish Conference UK. This year's conference is taking place on the 30th May - 1st June 2019. As one, it is time to unify and amplify the sound of heaven here on earth, to glorify the greatness of our God and to magnify the miracles He is doing in all of our lives.

Dates Available
01 Jun 2019   
Michael Bublé

Grammy-award winning global megastar Michael Bublé will return to the UK next year with a brand new tour kicking off in May 2019. Michael has already completed five sold-out world tours, won four Grammy Awards and sold over 60 million records over the course of his extraordinary career. 

Michael Bublé - EXTRA DATE

Grammy-award winning global megastar Michael Bublé will return to the UK next year with a brand new tour kicking off in May 2019. Michael has already completed five sold-out world tours, won four Grammy Awards and sold over 60 million records over the course of his extraordinary career. EXTRA DATE ADDED DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND 

Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit

Bill Bailey returns to the first direct arena after a triumphant 2018 performance. Larks In Transit is a compendium of travellers’ tales and the general shenanigans of twenty years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old MacDonald and re-imagines the Stars and Stripes. Two decades of touring larks from a comic described by The Telegraph as “the brainiest comic of his generation.”


The UK's top selling album group of the 21st century, Westlife, have announced that they will be visting the first direct arena in 2019 for the first time. Westlife have sold over 55 million records worldwide, and are the only band to have their first 7 singles enter the UK chart at No.1. Overall the band have had an incredible 14 No.1 singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They have had 33 No.1 albums worldwide.  As a live act Westlife have sold 5 million concert tickets worldwide. NEW DATE ADDED DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND!

Dates Available
10th June & 11th June 2019    Laurent-Perrier Experience | the suite experience
Josh Warrington Vs Kid Galahad

He's back! The Leeds Warrior Josh Warrington returns to First Direct Arena with his IBF World Featherweight Championship - and he defends against unbeaten Sheffield star Kid Galahad in a massive all Yorkshire bout!


FastLove - The Arena Tour: A Tribute to George Michael

Direct from London's West End, this is the world’s favourite George Michael tribute show.This show will take you on a musical journey from the moving Jesus To A Child, to the celebration of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, to everyone’s favourites I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up. Join us as we present our respectful tribute to one of the greatest musicians of all time with our stunning stage show that’s taking the globe by storm.Relive the passion, the flare and the unique sensitivity of George Michael with Fastlove!

The Magic Of Motown

Music fans are invited to the biggest party of the year as the unstoppable Magic of Motown show steams into town! Seen by over a million people, With timeless music of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and more. This breath-taking concert spectacular takes you on a musical journey through all your favourite songs, including: Ain’t No Mountain, Signed Sealed Delivered, Dancing In The Streets, My Cherie Amor, Heatwave and many more

Gladys Knight

The Empress of Soul - Gladys Knight, who is headlining the BBC Proms in the Park in 2018, is delighted to announce a date at the first direct arena in Leeds for June 2019. Known for her collection of classic hits such as: ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ (which remains one of the most famous Motown records to date and was honoured as one of ‘The Greatest Songs Of All Time’ by Rolling Stone Magazine); ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’;  ‘Licence To Kill  (the official theme song to the James Bond film) plus her critically acclaimed  latest album ‘Where My Heart Belongs’ .

Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical

The Award Winning Brendan O’Carroll and Mrs. Brown’s Boys invite you to their brand new production “Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Musical?” coming to the first direct arena in 2019. Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Musical? promises to take audiences on an exhilarating, side splitting and musical adventure. Brendan O’Carroll said: “Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Musical? will have you crying with laughter, tapping your toes and you will leave the show singing and smiling to yourself. We are having such fun doing this and can’t wait to share it not just with fans of Mrs. Brown’s Boys,  but to anyone who needs a good night out.”


Dates Available
28th June - 30th June 2019    Laurent-Perrier Experience | the suite experience

Eagles - Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey - are bringing their critically acclaimed tour to Leeds in 2019 and will perform classics spanning their career, including “Hotel California,” “One of These Nights,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” “Desperado,” and many more. In today’s faddish, fractured, rock landscape, the Eagles retain an appeal that transcends both generation and genre, cementing the band’s role as enduring musical icons. As the best-selling American band of the ’70s, and one of the top-selling acts of all time.

Leeds Tattoo Expo 2019

Leeds Tattoo Expo is returning to first direct arena for the third time! Expect to see 180+ tattoo fantastic tattoo artists, a market of traders selling everything from art prints to taxidermy, explosive live acts throughout the weekend and the ever popular tattoo competitions. For everyone from those yet to be inked to those covered head to toe, Leeds Tattoo Expo is a weekend not to be missed.  

Dates Available
Sat 6th July - Sun 7th July 2019   
Leeds Beckett University Graduation

Leeds Beckett students will graduate in Leeds city centre this summer with Graduation 2019 being held at the first direct arena between 15-18 July.

Admission by invitation and ticket only – students remember to register your place and book your guest tickets by Friday 14 June 2019.

Dates Available
15th - 18th July 2019   
Professor Brian Cox UNIVERSAL - Extra Date!

Extra date due to phenomenal demand - Taking audiences to the edge of our current understanding about the origin and evolution of our Solar System and the Universe, Professor Brian Cox offers a fascinating insight into the workings of nature at the most fundamental level. Professor Cox makes challenging ideas accessible to all, exploring the vast, possibly infinite universe and our place within it from earth to the edges of the cosmos. Brian will once again be joined by co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage and award-winning comedian Robin Ince to oversee an audience Q&A.


International multi platinum-selling artist Khalid has today announced a first direct arena date as part of his headline ‘Khalid Free Spirit World Tour’. Since releasing his debut hit single ‘Location’ in 2016 which went on to go quadruple platinum, Khalid has continued to cement his global status as one of music’s most promising breakout stars. Already accumulating a stellar array of awards and wins from the likes of MTV, Billboard and BET, his Leeds date offers his legion of loyal fans a chance to experience his latest musical offering.


Dates Available
22 Sep 2019    the suite experience
Russell Howard

Following the record-breaking success of his 2017 tour Round The World, Russell Howard returns with his biggest globe-spanning stand-up tour to date. Hot on the heels of his critically-acclaimed hit Sky One show The Russell Howard Hour, and his global smash Netflix special Recalibrate, Russell is back on stage where he belongs, making sense of a world that’s spinning out of control.It’s time for Respite. 

Star Wars In Concert - The Empire Strikes back

The Empire Strikes Back directly into arenas throughout the country live in concert this autumn. See the full film LIVE on a giant HD screen with a symphony orchestra. Journey with the rebel alliance once again as Imperial forces wrestle for control of the galaxy. Its time to feel the force of John William’s epic score.

Dates Available
28 Sep 2019    the suite experience
Alice Cooper

Ol' Black Eyes Is Back as rock legend Alice Cooper plays first direct Arena as part of his 50th anniversary tour with special guests The Stranglers! & MC50! The rock legend is bringing an all-new show and promises a night to remember - full of the shocks, dark humour and guillotines alongside some of his most iconic songs.


Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly: The Rock ’N’ Roll Dream Tour, a ground-breaking new tour featuring the award-winning rock and roll legends. It is yet another chapter for the revolutionary Hologram movement. The tour will bring Orbison and Holly together for an enthralling event that will tour throughout the UK before further dates worldwide.  Eric Schaeffe, who shepherded the In Dreams event will return as the director of the shows.  It is the first time a Buddy Holly hologram has been created.  


Andrea Bocelli

The world’s most beloved tenor, Andrea Bocelli, has announced he will be returning to the first direct arena in the autumn of 2019. Reportedly the biggest selling solo classical artist of all time with over 80 million worldwide album sales, Bocelli has performed for four US Presidents, two Popes and many Royal families across the world, as well as at high-profile ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the World Cup. The Maestro has countless music awards to his name over past 25 years in music.


The legendary Cher has today confirmed she’s heading to the UK in 2019 for her first live dates in over 14 years.  The multi-talented Oscar, Emmy and GRAMMY Award-winning icon, is set to delight UK fans when she plays five dates across the UK in October 2019 as part of her Here We Go Again World Tour including her first ever appearance at the first direct arena. 

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

For the 1st time fans will experience 3 different performances of Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with a show that will last over 3 hours. First the newly conceptualized segment of an Unplugged session with an array of talented young musicians. The Second segment will have orchestrated RFAK”s super hit Bollywood songs of this year including Dehkte Dehkte, Tere Bin from Simba, Rashke Qamar, Nit  Khair Mange plus all his hits from the past 3 decades. Lastly to what he is all about - Qawali. 

Dates Available
01 Nov 2019    the suite experience
Coming Soon
a-ha: Hunting High and Low Live 2019

a-ha have always set themselves challenges. In 2018 their MTV Unplugged tour proved that their songs could be given new settings and remain as alive and as impactful as ever. Now, pushing even further, they are announcing that their October and November 2019 tour will be different from anything they have previously undertaken.


80s Invasion

Featuring seven of the decade’s most popular acts, get ready for an 80s Invasion at First Direct Arena! Sister Sledge, Jason DonovanMartika, Five Star, The FizzHue & Cry, Living In A Box featuring Kenny Thomas.

Dates Available
03 Nov 2019    the suite experience
Titanic Live - Film with Live Orchestra and Choir

Due to scheduling commitments, the show has been moved to Sunday 10th November 2019. All previously booked tickets will remain valid for the new date with no action required. Experience James Cameron’s ground-breaking epic as you’ve never done before with Titanic Live In Concert. With a live 100-piece orchestra performing the epic score that was the soundtrack for a generation you can relive the romance, the passion and the heartbreak as never before. Please note the film is rated as 12A by the British Board of Film Classification.


Dates Available
10 Nov 2019    the suite experience
Little Mix

Pop superstars Little Mix have announced 'The LM5 Tour', a massive UK and Ireland Arena Tour for 2019. The shows will see Little Mix perform songs from their brand new album LM5, alongside their greatest hits including 'Touch', ‘Shout Out to My Ex', ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Wings'. Little Mix have firmly established their reputation as one of the most phenomenal performers around. In summer 2018 they toured stadiums across the UK with the 'Summer Hits' Tour. They were also named the UK’s Most Watched VEVO Artist of 2017.




Dates Available
18th & 19th November 2019    Black Magic Package | the suite experience
The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers have annouced a date at the first direct arena in November 2019. The legendary duo – comprising Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons  have sold more than 12 million albums and six million singles worldwide. They have had six No. 1 albums in the U.K. and were the first electronic act ever to receive a GRAMMY, winning in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category for ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ – the first of their four GRAMMY wins. 



Stepback! 90’S VS 00’S

The world’s biggest 90’s / 00’s concert comes to the first direct arena for the very first time in November 2019.  We’re bringing you some of the best-loved stars from the coolest couple of decades.  This live, indoor 90’s vs 00’s concert brings one of the strongest lineups ever seen together on one stage, featuring: B*WITCHED, 5IVE, S CLUB, FATMAN SCOOP, EAST 17, BLAZIN’ SQUAD, 911, BIG BROVAZ & BOOTY LUV.  

Jack Whitehall: Stood Up

Award-winning comedian, actor and writer Jack Whitehall has announced his biggest UK and Ireland arena tour ever for 2019 with brand new show, JACK WHITEHALL: STOOD UP. Following two complete sell out arena tours, Jack Whitehall Gets Around in 2014 and Jack Whitehall: At Large in 2017, which premiered on Netflix, JACK WHITEHALL: STOOD UP promises to be the most hilarious yet from one of comedy’s most electric talents. A joy to watch on stage and a comedian who is firmly on the road to becoming a global megastar, this show is not to be missed.

Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics 2019

Pete Tong returns with The Heritage Orchestra for a brand new show in 2019, conducted by Jules Buckley. Now firmly part of the live music calendar, the voice of Radio 1’s prestigious dance programming and Britain's most influential figures in electronic dance music, Pete Tong along with conductor Jules Buckley and 65 piece The Heritage Orchestra will be taking a fresh show of Ibiza Classics to new cities for the first time. Ibiza Classics is the world's most iconic classical electronic music event and promises to be a party like no other.


Shed Seven

Shed Seven have announced their biggest ever UK tour to date for November and December 2019 including a home county show at the first direct arena – their first ever headline arena show! The band will be supported by special guests The Twang and Reverend & The Makers.  

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart returns to the first direct arena in 2019. As one of the best-selling artists in the history of recorded music, with more than 200 million records sold worldwide, his performance will include show stopping classics from his glittering career. With his signature voice, style and songwriting, Rod Stewart has transcended all genres of popular music, from rock, folk, soul, R&B, and even the American standards; making him one of the few stars to enjoy chart-topping albums throughout every decade of his career. 


We Love the 90's

We Love The 90’s, the ULTIMATE nineties tour is coming to the UK in December 2019. In a huge lineup featuring Jenny Berggren from Ace Of Base, Vengaboys, 2 Unlimited, Snap!, Whigfield, Haddaway, DJ Sash, Rednex and many more.

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Tina Turner fans prepare to be blown away when brand new show What’s Love Got To Do With It? heads to Leeds as part of a massive UK tour. What's Love Got To Do With It? is the joyous new show celebrating the music of the incredible Tina Turner. And with a tour taking in more than 60 towns and cities across the UK in 2019 and into 2020, What’s Love Got To Do With It? is set to wow fans when it heads to the first direct arena on Friday March 20 2020. 


Europe's Strongest Man 2020

Europe’s Strongest Man—part of the World’s Strongest Man Qualifying Tour—is returning to the first direct arena in 2020. You’ve seen it on TV, but a strongman show of this scale is best witnessed live, raw and up-close to all the roaring, shirt-ripping, world-record-breaking action!

Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis

The music of rock legends Queen is to be celebrated like never before as West End leading lady Kerry Ellis joins Scandinavian tribute stars Queen Machine for a fully orchestrated UK tour.The all-new tour Queen Machine Symphonic featuring Kerry Ellis will see Queen’s greatest hits performed by leading European tribute band Queen Machine accompanied by the London Symphonic Rock Orchestra and conducted by Matthew Freeman, creating an unforgettable night of rock anthems.

Dates Available
25 Apr 2020    the suite experience
Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

Elton John will return the first direct arena as part of his colossal Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Speaking of the UK dates Elton John says “The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will take us to many places that have meant a lot to me over the last fifty years, but these UK shows will be incredibly special. The UK is home, and where my heart will always be."