Its honeycombed exterior glowing like a beacon at night, Leeds’ modern music venue draws crowds nightly to its shows featuring local and international stars.
When First Direct Arena opened in 2014, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John set a high bar for the quality of artists who would appear here. Since then, a huge variety of entertainers have come, from Drake and Miley Cyrus to championship boxing matches to beloved local acts such as the Kaiser Chiefs. Don’t miss any of the action in the arena’s fan-shaped configuration. It is unique in the U.K., with the rear seats only 230 feet (70 meters) from the stage, rather than the usual 330 feet (100 meters).
Show up early the night of the show to relax on the green lawns outside. Futuristic lights decorate the outside of the venue, where the people of Leeds begin to gather in anticipation. Head inside and have a drink at the bar, which offers seating and refreshments and a place to get excited for the show that is about to begin.
During intermission, take the opportunity to purchase a snack from one of the concessionaires, many offering some of Leeds’ favorite local foods. Enjoy a hot dog or pasty or have a full meal. Head back in for the second half of the show. At the end tumble out into the night air with the other 13,000 fans after the lights have dimmed the final time.
Find First Direct Arena north of downtown Leeds, a 10-minute walk or bus ride from the city center. Walk to the stadium in 15 minutes from the main train station or ride by bus in 18 minutes. Drive from most places in the city center in less than 10 minutes. There is no designated car park, but a great deal of parking is available in metered lots within a 15-minute walk of the arena.
Book tickets online or in person at the ticket office, which is open from Monday to Saturday from mid-morning to afternoon, closing early on Saturdays. The on-site bar is open on show nights starting in the early evening.