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Compass Festival Returns to Leeds This November.

A supermarket soundscape, a satellite crash-landing to reveal musings on Black identity, an alternative citizens advice bureau, a vending machine with stories to tell and a chance to find out what Leeds ‘really’ tastes like.

From Friday 18 – Sunday 27 November 2022 the interactive, Leeds-wide Compass Festival returns for its sixth outing, featuring five unique, interactive installations exploring capitalism, culture and community.

Compass Festival presents its first post-covid iteration, in its regular November festival slot, with works rooted in the city’s culture and cultural institutions such as Kirkgate Market, Leeds High Street and across a host of exciting pop up spaces.

  • WONDERMART: Reality blurs with the imaginary in Wondermart, an interactive audio tour which turns four Leeds’ Morrisons supermarket aisles into intimate playgrounds.
  • SATELLITE: Satellite, an Afro shaped pop-up venue, documents and celebrates communities across the Black diaspora in Leeds, the UK and beyond with a series of events focusing on image and afro futurism.
  • CITIZENS ADVISE: Soak up niche knowledge with Citizens Advise, an opportunity to give and receive advice from the people of Leeds, with a rolling programme of Chief Advisors tackling topics of the day.
  • HUNGRY GHOSTS: Hungry Ghosts pays tribute to Black Caribbean matriarchs, Grandmothers and ancestors, through a series of cooking events and a ‘vending machine’ which explore the impact of food, family and how the practice of cooking is linked to identity.
  • LEEDS SAUCE: Help create the first ‘Leeds Sauce’ – get hands-on with the pop-up processing plant and become part of the conversation around what makes Leeds, ‘Leeds’

Want to know more? then check out the details of these fantastic events below. 

Wondermart Although not intricately tied with food and culture, Wondermart from British-Italian theatre maker and artist Silvia Mercuriali, is an audio adventure set in a supermarket. Participants are asked to explore the aisles of Morrisons, hold items to their ears, draw in the condensation on the freezer doors and reassess an environment we take for granted. Previous reviews describe the experience as “shining a new light on the quotidian of human experience” (Irish Times) and “a delicious anti-consumerist meditation through the
dream state of aisles” (The Herald, Scotland).

Satellite is not just an installation but a festival-made space to document and celebrate stories, communities and individuals across the Black diaspora in the UK and beyond. The events inside include Hairlooms, a 1-1 participatory performance hair jewellery workshop, futuristic dressing-up box X photobooth Authors of Our Own Image, food, community, conversation and collective readings with
Leeds-based artist Musufing Whyles in Do Yuh Read Mi, plus Satellite X Sable Radio: Orbital, a collaborative audio-celestial broadcast from Sable Radio and curator Toni Lewis (aka The Astrothot) highlighting Black women in creative industries in the North.

Citizens Advise invites the people of Leeds to give and take advice from fellow Loiners on all sorts of topics – be it DIY, love, grief or even poaching an egg. Continuing Empathy Museum’s award-winning series reimagining the High Street, their cosy space in St John’s Centre is an opportunity to take a break from shopping, get warm with tea and cake, and be inspired by a rolling programme of Chief Advisors answering questions, concerns, queries and dilemmas. In response to a global decline in empathy, and increasing distrust in politicians and experts, this project encourages people to share their own advice, fostering exchange and connection between the city’s dwellers.

HUNGRY GHOSTS, by artist Amy Lawrence and collaborators, reinvents memories of matriarchal cooking and follows the shifting relationship between food, identity and place visible in shared experiences of cooking and eating. This is channelled through passed-down recipes, seeing them as experimental stories which shape our identities and ancestral experiences. The work is playfully
distributed through VENDING, a free working vending machine in Leeds Kirkgate Foodhall, eating event Festival of Festival, an ode to sweet dumplings given to Foodhall visitors, and across Compass Festival at private Black Eating Clubs for invited guests.

Leeds Sauce from Popeye Collective encourages you to take part in the journey of a sauce made out of the key ingredients of Leeds (Rhubarb, Beer and Roses), enveloping yourself in the sauce’s process by bottling your own Leeds Sauce or being on the tasting panel.  This is the latest in Popeye Collective’s series of work with Compass Festival, after Mushy Pea Chaat formed part of the festival’s Compass Podcast in 2021.


About Compass Festival
Compass commission and present interactive live art projects in Leeds. They run an artist residency programme, present standalone projects and exhibitions and artist development initiatives. Compass is also the driving force behind the biennial Compass Festival.
Since 2011 Compass has been animating the city with brilliant interactive live art projects in which they invite the public to join them in playful enquiry, silent contemplation, astonishing feats of madness, hospitality and communality within and beyond the theatre or the gallery, in the places where we live, work and play. They believe that everyone can enjoy the very best of contemporary live art and work closely with partners around the city and beyond to present thought provoking, entertaining and moving projects in a
range of settings including libraries, markets, museums, shopping centres and the city streets. They take time to work with artists and communities making sure the projects they commission are considered and fully engaged with their surroundings.

Compass Festival 2022
Date & Time:
From 18/11/2022 To 27/11/2022
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