PREVIEW: Pop icons line-up for 80s Classical in Leeds Millennium Square

Kim WildeKim Wilde
Kim Wilde
Pop icons Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle and more are lining up for Leeds’ annual open-air 80s symphonic spectacular!

Johnny Hates Jazz, Hue and Cry and voice of Five Star Denise Pearson have been announced as guest artists for the third and 2022 edition of 80s Classical in Millennium Square, Leeds on Friday, July 22.

BUY TICKETS: Tickets, priced £38.50 general admission or £35 for groups of 5+ standing or £44 for reserved seating (limited number), are available to purchase online at

Tickets can also be purchased in person from the City Centre Box Office in The Carriageworks Theatre.

The 80s stars will be joined by Leeds’ own Orchestra of Opera North for a trip back to pop’s greatest decade, taking their chart-topping hits up a gear with the expanded power and colour of the 60-piece ensemble.

80s Classical debuted in Leeds in 2019, bringing a roster of pop legends together with the symphonic might of Opera North’s musicians. Following two postponements due to the Covid pandemic, the concert returned to the city in September this year for a joyous night of nostalgia and celebration.

Summer 2022’s sequel brings the most-charted British female solo act of the 80s, singer, DJ and television presenter Kim Wilde, to the Millennium Square stage for the first time.

From her smash 1981 debut Kids in America to her Billboard Hot 100-topping You Keep Me Hangin' On and her 1988 hit You Came, Kim has notched up over 10 million album and 20 million single sales worldwide.

“Leeds is always such a great, welcoming place to visit and to play, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to perform some of my best-loved songs in front of a 60-piece symphony orchestra”, she says.

Originally signed up for the 2020 event before Covid struck, American superstar Belinda Carlisle is delighted to be returning to the bill for next summer’s show.

Looking forward to brand-new symphonic makeovers for songs including Heaven is a Place on Earth and Leave a Light On, Belinda said: “It was heart-breaking for me when the event couldn’t go ahead last summer, and I was unable to make the re-arranged date”, says Belinda.

“I am so excited to be involved in such a unique and exciting concert, and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of my UK fans at what’s going to be a truly special occasion”.

Soulful sophisticates Johnny Hates Jazz – singer and keyboardist Clark Datchler and multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Nocito – will return for their second appearance after performing at the inaugural date in 2019, reprising their hit records including Shattered Dreams and I Don’t Wanna Be A Hero.

There’s more blue-chip, blue-eyed soul in shape of Scottish duo Hue and Cry. A new addition to the 80s Classical family, brothers Pat and Greg Kane will be performing Labour of Love and Looking for Linda.

Denise Pearson – the official voice of British pop group Five Star – also joins the bill, performing a selection of the band’s greatest hits including System Addict and Rain or Shine for the first time with a live orchestra.

The brilliant 80s Classical ensemble of backing vocalists, Bianca Claxton, Gavin Condor and Adetoun Anibi, return to perform a bonus selection of crowd-pleasing favourites including Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It and Flashdance theme What a Feeling, among many more.

80s Classical 2022 playing Millennium Square Leeds on July 2280s Classical 2022 playing Millennium Square Leeds on July 22
80s Classical 2022 playing Millennium Square Leeds on July 22

Counting Kylie Minogue among a growing band of fans of their inclusive, irreverent approach to the decks, Liverpool-based DJs Sonic Yootha will get the party started ahead of the live performances, and keep the crowd entertained during the interval.

The creative team behind 80s Classical is renowned composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson, whose credits include Kylie Minogue, Steps, Westlife, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be coming back to our second home in Millennium Square with a new all-star line-up for this third instalment of 80s Classical,” says Cliff.

Steve adds, “It is so exciting for us to bring Kim, Belinda, Hue & Cry and Denise together with the amazing Orchestra of Opera North for the first time. With such an amazing array of talent, the audience are in for a real treat next year”.

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, comments:

“After the ordeal of the previous 18 months, coming back to Millennium Square this year was an unforgettable experience for our Orchestra and the 80s Classical audience alike. For many it was their first live performance in a year or more: the atmosphere was electric, and our musicians and guest artists truly gave their all.

Belinda CarlisleBelinda Carlisle
Belinda Carlisle

“We’re looking forward to building on our relationship with Cliff, Steve and Leeds City Council for this third instalment of the show, combining the incredible versatility of our Orchestra with the talent of these 80s icons in the open air in this amazing venue at the heart of our city.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “We’re incredibly proud to once again be showcasing the remarkable talents of Opera North together with a stellar list of iconic 80s artists, and to give people the opportunity to once again see first-hand the incredible quality of our city’s cultural and musical offering.”

Doors for the event on Friday 22 July 2022 will open from 6.30pm, with DJs from 6.45pm and the main performances from 8.15pm. A licensed bar and several street food catering concessions will be available within the specially created outdoor arena.

The venue is also fully accessible with a raised viewing platform, disabled toilets and a Changing Places unit.

80s Classical is part of trio of special outdoor summer classical concerts organised in partnership between Leeds City Council and Opera North, forming one of the key cultural highlights of the annual Millennium Summer Series programme.

Club Classical Anthems featuring the multi-talented singer / songwriter, producer and DJ John Newman together with 90s dance icon Ultra Nate and other special guests is already on sale for Saturday 23 July 2022, and an announcement on the third event will be made early in the new year.

For further summer event programme and venue details ticketing, visitor and accessibility information including complimentary companion ticket visit

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