Stars of stage, sport and screen will join residents from all across Leeds for the city’s first ever virtual Christmas lights switch-on which will premiere on December 2.

The festive extravaganza will feature a specially recorded version of John Newman’s recent uplifting collaboration with Sigma High on You.

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Class Dynamix, who were recently commissioned by Child Friendly Leeds, Shine and Crisp Thinking to write a new song appropriately named Light Up For Leeds, will premiere this featuring children from Windmill Primary who came together within their school bubbles to record a special one-off performance.

Local brother pop/rock band The Dunwells have  recorded their self-penned single Light up the Sky which will  act as the back drop to a dazzling montage of festive lights and displays from around the city made up of pictures and videos sent in by local residents.

Joining them on the virtual billing will be Grammy-nominated Yorkshire-born musician and 80s legend John Parr performing  alongside a full symphony orchestra that was recorded at home during lockdown.

Hyde Park Brass will be bringing the much loved sounds of traditional ‘brass band’ in their own contemporary style with unique performances of much loved festive hits.

Keeping in the festive feel Chante Amour will be performing an original Christmas song Hope for Christmas.

The family friendly entertainment continues with the ‘12 days of Yorkshire Christmas’ sing-along with pantomime performers Alex Winters and  Jez Edwards – together with an appearance from Santa himself.

Local sporting heroes will also be on hand to spread some motivational goodwill cheer with contributions from the Leeds United first team and ladies squads, IBF featherweight World Champion boxer Josh Warrington and some key video highlights and player messages from the newly crowned Challenge Cup winners Leeds Rhinos.

There will also be a recorded message from The Lord Mayor of Leeds together with this year’s Leeds Children’s Mayor Samuel Hill from Carr Manor Community School whose winning manifesto is based around the theme ‘Be yourself, love yourself and respect all others.’

Previous years have seen crowds gather on Victoria Gardens for the annual lights switch-on but current social distancing requirements and restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have meant that the council’s events team have had to come up with creative ways to ensure thousands of people can still come together and celebrate the season safely.

The Leeds Lights Virtual Switch-on event will be free to watch on the Millennium Square YouTube channel and Facebook page on Wednesday, December 2 from 6.30pm, with the actual city centre lighting displays, including brand new lighting spans designed and installed by Leeds BID on Briggate, switched on simultaneously with the online event.

Local residents still have the opportunity to submit pictures and videos of their own lights and Christmas trees so they can feature in the special montage and pay tribute to the city’s Christmas spirit. To submit your pic or video message please send by email to: The closing date is Sunday, November 29.



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