Staff Festival music acts hit the right note!

Our amazing line-up of acts performing on the Staff Festival stage this year will be music to the ears of everyone attending!

Staff Festival 2023 | Charity nominations open. January 2023

High energy entertainment, rousing renditions and pure sunshine for the soul are the order of the day.

Four acts have been confirmed, with sessions taking place throughout the event, which runs from 3-7pm on 30 June. Genres range from party anthems and contemporary classics to contagiously fun Brazilian beats.

Staff Festival Project Manager, Jo Westerman, said: “Live music is central to our packed programme of entertainment – it’s one of the big attractions on the day.

“We’ve seen some amazing acts perform at Staff Festival over the years and we’ve secured another super line-up to take to the stage. What better way to get the party started for what promises to be a day to remember?”

Staff Festival music acts hit the right note! June 2023

The Johnhouse Experience play a mix of rock, pop, soul and indie spanning five decades

Arresting anthems

The Johnhouse Experience are an energetic, four-piece band from South-West Yorkshire, offering an eclectic mix of party anthems and soulful numbers to compliment any event or special occasion. The band comprise of lead singer James Johnston, guitarist Luke Porthouse, Paul Brown playing bass guitar and Reg Vardy on drums.

Playing a mix of rock, pop, soul and indie spanning five decades, the band make it their mission to get everyone on their feet and enjoying themselves!

Formed at the start of the year, several of the members have previously performed in other bands. And they’re no strangers to the Staff Festival either.

Frontman James Johnston, who works in the School of Law at Leeds, promises some arresting anthems! He said: “We’re looking forward to performing on campus again for colleagues, family and friends. 

“The Staff Festival provides a great opportunity to do that – just like it did for some of us back in 2019 when we performed a stripped-back acoustic set. We’ll see you down the front!”

Staff Festival music acts hit the right note! June 2023

More than 60 singers will take to the stage for the Rock Choir performance

Contemporary classics

Rock Choir is the UK’s largest contemporary choir, with groups located across the country. The cohort performing at the Staff Festival are from the Horsforth, Roundhay and Wakefield Rock Choirs. About 60 singers will take to the stage to perform a range of contemporary classics.

Choir Leader and Director, Rebecca Rowe, said: “Rock Choir are so excited to be performing at the Staff Festival. We’ve performed at the University before and we love the venue. 

“It’s part of our busy summer of gigs. If you like what you hear, Rock Choir is inclusive and everyone is welcome. Book your free taster session at – we already have a few University employees singing with us.”

Staff Festival music acts hit the right note! June 2023

Charlotte Francis and Des McLernon, who both work at the University, perform as Rhythm Aire

Soulful duo

Another act with a University link are Rhythm Aire, who return to play the Staff Festival again. They’ve also performed at bars, restaurants, festivals, weddings, parties and charity events across Yorkshire and beyond during the past 12 years.

Singer Charlotte Francis and Des McLernon on piano are a soulful duo with a large Latin, jazz, blues and pop repertoire. Expect everything from Amy Winehouse to Antônio Carlos Jobim, Bill Withers to Van Morrison and Adele to Dusty Springfield.

Des works in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Leeds, while Charlotte is an Assistant School Education Service Manager in the School of Computing.

Charlotte said: “We’re passionate about music and making people feel good!  

“We’ve played at various University events and started out at a student social for the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering 12 years ago. Since then we’ve played at many events and we’re very excited to be a part of this fantastic festival to celebrate our love for all things music!”

Staff Festival music acts hit the right note! June 2023

Olayá’s music is a dose of pure sunshine and joy

Brazilian beats

With authentic pifanos (wooden flutes) in harmony, and the addition of vocals, bass and bountiful percussion, five-piece outfit Olayá bring heavily rhythmic and contagiously fun Brazilian beats to the party. 

Featuring Rosanna Ter-Berg, Rachel Hayter, Inês Loubet, Julio de Castro and Alua Nascimento, their music is a dose of pure sunshine and joy, with quirky arrangements of traditional Brazilian tunes plus original compositions.

Packed programme

Excitement is building for this year’s Staff Festival, with the entertainment extravaganza taking place on 30 June.

All colleagues, family and friends are invited to join us on campus from 3-7pm for what promises to be a hugely entertaining afternoon of activities and attractions.

A packed programme of events is close to being finalised, with dodgems, face painting, glitter tattoo artists and a caricaturist all making a welcome return. Colleagues can also enjoy an inflatable climbing wall, Didicar racing, a 35ft twin-lane bungee run, bouncy castles, skate and snowboard simulators and giant garden games, to name but a few.

Mouth-watering food and drink stalls will be selling tempting tasty treats, ranging from street food and burgers to artisan marshmallows and ice cream.

Bookings are also open for this year’s packed programme of wonderful Staff Festival workshops. Ranging from Bollywood dance and Chinese opera masks to beer and cocktail tasting, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. In an attempt to make the process as fair as possible, a number of places will also be available to book on the day.

The festival will take place in and around the Refectory, University Precinct and University Road. Disabled access will be available throughout the site.

See the Staff Festival SharePoint site for further information.

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