This article was published in 2012.

A celebration of Irish arts and culture kicks off in Leeds from the 1st to the 24th of November 2012. Dozens of events including music sessions, literary, film and educational events are to take place at venues across Leeds, bringing some of Ireland's finest artists to the city.

Organized by the Irish Arts Foundation, based in Leeds, events are designed to appeal to both those of an Irish background and people from the wider community with an interest in music and the arts.

Roisin Ferguson, undergraduate Events Management placement student from Leeds Metropolitan University explains: "The thinking behind the Leeds Gathering is to provide a platform for the Irish community in Leeds to showcase their rich and vibrant cultural traditions, we are also interested in developing new audiences for Irish arts"

The Leeds Gathering features some of the most dynamic local, national and international performers and artistes in the world of Irish and Celtic arts. This year's festival features performances from the legendary Donegal traditional band Altan; founding member of American Irish super group 'Solas' John Doyle and 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee Kris Drever (Otley Courthouse Friday 23rd November), Karen Tweed & Friends (HEART Headingley, Friday 9th November) and an album launch from London-based Karen Ryan & Pete Quinn (The Grove Inn, Holbeck Urban Village, Saturday 17th November).

There is a screening of the award winning film from William Trevor 'The Ballroom of Romance' with a talk from Professor Lance Pettitt, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, St. Mary's University College, Twickenham (Seven Arts Chapel Allerton, Saturday 24th November) as well literary performances and traditional Irish music sessions.

The official launch of the festival takes at 8pm on the 8th of November in the O'Meara lounge at the Leeds Irish Centre with special guest speakers Fabian Hamilton (MP for Leeds North East), Professor David Cooper (Dean of Performing Arts, University of Leeds & Vice Chair of the Irish Arts Foundation) A representative of the Embassy of Ireland and London-based Irish actor Donal Cox.

For further information and a full programme of events, visit the website