Discover Leicester and Leicestershire’s Vibrant Arts and Cultural Scene

Be inspired by Leicester and Leicestershire’s creative energy, with art, theatre and music around every corner.

Leicester and Leicestershire’s vibrant arts and cultural scene is something we love! It ranks amongst the best places in the UK for cultural and creative experiences from a booming street art scene, professional theatre and art galleries, to traditional arts and crafts, live music and large-scale opera.

Visit Leicester has rounded up some of the most exciting exhibitions, artists and creative happenings for visitors to discover.

The city’s biennial Bring the Paint street art festival producing some of the UK’s finest street art has enabled Leicester to become a front-runner for cultural tourism. The festival, which will return in 2024, brings together an incredible array of international artists to create large-scale public artworks in celebration of graffiti culture. Last year, Leicester unveiled the tallest large-scale street mural in Europe – an ambitious 82-metre piece in the heart of the city, painted by local artists Wing Lo, Richard Peacock, Leigh Drummond, assisted by Ben Edwards and Kiene Tuckley, that pays tribute to the Leicester’s pioneering achievements and sporting heritage. The spectacular works can be seen across the city.

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery is home to an extensive range of exhibitions, including the largest collection of German Expressionist artworks outside modern Germany and ‘Charnia’, the fossil which inspired the boy David Attenborough to become a naturalist. Explore lost worlds, meet the mummies, and journey through the animal kingdom in the dedicated galleries. See Victorian arts and crafts, German expressionist collections, as well as temporary exhibitions, featuring works from the collections and touring exhibitions from national museums.

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre is a hub of cultural excellence, with dynamic exhibitions, performances, and creative courses for all. The centre is currently showcasing ‘altered’, a major solo exhibition by British sculptor and disability rights activist, Tony Heaton OBE.

When it comes to performing arts, theatregoers have their pick of venues, both in the city and county. The Curve Theatre provides a diverse, exciting, and inspiring programme of world-class musicals, plays, dance and opera, with upcoming shows including Evita, Six and Heathers the Musical. Leicester’s iconic Sue Townsend Theatre, which honours author Sue Townsend, is one of the most established and respected performance venues in the city and has a rich history in the performing arts, with shows by local and national arts, music, theatre, and dance companies.

The Little Theatre is the home of the Leicester Drama Society (LDS) and proudly boasts patrons such as Sir Anthony Hopkins and Gervase Phinn. It’s also where Lord Richard Attenborough began his acting career. Their 2023 programme features a line-up of brilliant musical and theatrical performances, including Ghost: The Musical, Shakespeare in Love and Gypsy. Leicester’s independent cinema and arts centre, the Phoenix, screens everything from micro-budget indie films to the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and its art and digital culture programme features exhibitions by artists from across the world.

Located in the leafy Leicestershire village of North Kilworth, Kilworth House Theatre is widely recognised as one of top three open air theatres in the country – and the only theatre set in the grounds of a hotel. It has built a nationwide reputation for its quality productions, and the dazzling line-up of West End standard musicals and live shows will keep visitors on the edge of their seats.

For more than six decades, Leicester has welcomed rock and pop royalty, including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Oasis, and the Stone Roses, to a variety of music venues. And the city’s music scene is still making noise today. A Leicester institution, The Shed is a cradle for live music and the place to discover emerging talent. The Soundhouse is an established independent live music venue that plays host to a mixture of local and touring artists, as well as one of the best loved open mic nights in the city. The Donkey is a small venue with a big reputation – here you’ll find live music most nights of the week.

De Montfort Hall is the largest music and performance venue in Leicester and has acted as a cultural beacon for the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and beyond for over 100 years. Highlights for 2023 include the international smash hit ABBA tribute show, ‘Thank You For The Music’, musical performances from Beverley Knight, Alfie Boe and the Philharmonic, comedy acts from the likes of Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, and Sarah Millican, as well as events with Simon Reeves, Grayson Perry, and Steve Backshall.

For a truly extraordinary experience, Nevill Holt Opera is the UK’s most intimate opera house, showcasing award-winning opera and music. With spectacular panoramic views, award-winning gardens, gourmet dining options and an exceptional collection of sculptures, this world class venue offers a completely unique experience.

Or produce your very own art at the Leicester Print Workshop, the region’s centre for fine art printmaking. The workshop has a large open access studio with equipment for silkscreen, stone, and plate lithography, etching, engraving, relief and letterpress. The Clay Room offers ceramic and pottery classes and the Attenborough Arts Centre runs creative courses, from jewellery making to life drawing. Slightly further afield you will find the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts at Staunton Harold, where artists have been working in the studios around this Georgian stable block since 1974, and offer workshops in fine art, ceramics, silverware and more.

For more information on places to see, things to do and where to stay in Leicester and Leicestershire, visit

Dluxe Magazine Leicester

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