The food festival and pop-up space, once limited to several annual dates touring around the country, has announced that it is in Leeds to stay!

Chow Down at Temple Arches launched for ten pop-up weekends during the summer of 2020, as the pandemic put the kibosh on their 12 planned events, touring everywhere from Manchester to Halifax to Lincoln.

Chow Down then saw a hugely successful run of weekender events at Temple Arches since relaunching in April, as the only giant COVID-safe Leeds outdoor social space for eating, drinking and entertainment. The festival has thus decided to settle at Temple Arches permanently.

Permanent Leeds settlement will allow it to offer even more to its punters in the future - starting off with the launch of its own brand new cocktail bar, Tipples.

Chow Down’s First Birthday spans the weekend 22nd-25th July. During this special weekend, the festival will see the launch of its own brand new cocktail bar, Tipple.

Expect the summer menu to go off with a juicy bang. Guava & Kiwi Punch, The Chow Down Heavy Sipper, Ribena Margarita, a White Chocolate Espresso Martini, a Summer Sangria and so much more are already on the cocktail menu, all put together by new Head of Drinks Jake Speakman.

A super tasty food line-up has been planned for the weekend too, including Torito Taco, MorMor, Wallace and Sons and Little Red Food Cluck. Project D will also join for a special pop-up, bringing along some Chow Down Birthday donuts! This decadent dessert option is joined by the resident Scoop truck, serving up ice-cream treats and brownies.

Over the weekend, Chow Down will see live art from abstract Designer & Maker Emma Hardaker, whose bright graphics can be seen in murals and installation pieces across the North.

The four-day birthday celebration will be kicked off with a Futuresound takeover on Thursday night, featuring DJ sets from Low Hummer, Far Caspian and The Pigeon Detectives. The music will continue with the intergalactic house sounds of Man Power, before a Manchester staple joins us on Saturday evening in the form of Luke Una.

New York Brass Band will make their triumphant return to Temple Arches on the Sunday afternoon, with a live set that may even feature a rendition of Happy Birthday to celebrate Chow Down’s Big Day.

Chow Down was initially a pop-up space, but has since grown in stature and will now look to operate on a permanent basis with an even more distinct offering. The venue has been hugely popular with punters, but has also brought love from existing members of the community:

Bean, Manager at The Cross Keys: "Chow Down has brought more people to the area who wouldn't normally come to this side of town. We are seeing an increase in drinkers before and after their times over at Chow Down. The area is buzzing, as work starts on the Temple area and Chow Down helps with the aesthetic of the area and helps it seem cool again."

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Economy, Culture and Education: “It’s been great to see so many people enjoying Chow Down over the past year and for the event to have given the city a much-needed lift through some difficult times. Innovative events like this exemplify how incredibly resilient and imaginative our local business community has been, and we’re pleased to see Chow Down continuing over what will hopefully be a memorable summer for the city.”

James Milson, Property Manager at CEG, said: “Temple and CEG wish Chow Down a Happy First Birthday at Temple Arches. Having started out in unprecedented and challenging times, it’s been an exceptional transformation of the Temple Arches site, bringing new energy and life to the area. The Temple Team looks forward to partnering with Chow Down and the New Citizens team for years to come, as the development of Temple District continues!”

Matt Long, Director of New Citizens & Co-Founder of Chow Down: “This area of Leeds has some amazing plans for the future and we can’t wait to be a part of that. It's been incredible to see Chow Down grow over the last year, and cement itself as a permanent venue at Temple Arches. Alongside Chow Down, we (New Citizens) have great projects in the Temple area, with Oktoberfest and The Garden Party, so we feel very much a part of this exciting transformation.

At Chow Down we have looked to support as many independent food traders as possible, and this year to date we have had over 50 vendors trade with us, helping out and actually kickstarting many of the hospitality scenes as we rotate the food as much as possible. Our drink supply is very much as local as possible, and is ever-rotating. We are planning some more collaboration brews on the menu for later in the year, after the huge success of our North Brew Co beer this summer.”

British Street Food Awards: 19th - 22nd August Chow Down was picked to host the Northern heat of the British Street Food Awards over the weekend of 19th-22nd August. Having taken a break from the full awards last year due to the pandemic, this year they are back, bigger than ever. The finalists for the heats will be announced in the next week, alongside the judges.

Bookings for July are open now with tickets for August going on sale soon.

Visit Chow Down here: