leeds song tunnel

a typographic artwork celebrating the city's music

About Leeds Song Tunnel

What is it?
A celebration of the singers, songwriters and bands that have helped make Leeds such a musical city over the last 100 years. Leeds Song Tunnel is a public artwork comprised of 60 unique typographic panels, each featuring a different song and artist.

Where is it?
In Woodhouse Lane pedestrian subway and surroundings in the city centre of Leeds, United Kingdom. You can find it on bing maps here.

Whose idea was it?
The artwork was commissioned by Leeds City Council as part of the Arena project. The subway links the adjacent Woodhouse Lane Car Park to the Arena, as well as the City Centre. The artwork is to provide visitors to the Arena with a sense of fun and anticipation as they walk through the subway to the Arena. Many of the song titles relate to the experience of attending a music event at the Arena. The Song Tunnel idea and artwork was created by Adrian Riley – there’s a more about him here.

How were the songs and bands chosen?
The desire was to represent Leeds popular music scene in it’s widest sense, from early 20th century music hall to contemporary urban music and celebrate both those who ‘made it big’ as well as the equally important bands and individuals whose music has been an essential part of the character of the city. Each panel lists the song name, recording artist, album title (if it wasn’t purely a single) and year of issue.

Why these particular songs?
The song titles were chosen because in isolation they could be interpreted as meaning something within the context of a gig – the anticipation and getting ready to go out, the social element and the excitement and enjoyment of the concert itself. Arranged in the Song Tunnel they can collectively be read as a narrative charting one person’s gig experience – you’ll have to visit yourself to see what you think it is.

Are there plans to add more songs as new bands come from Leeds? Or perhaps I can suggest some that might have been included?
No promises, but we would love to build a list of suggestions on this website. Suggest your song here.

I took a photo of me with my favourite panel – will you put it on this website?
Yes – get in touch here.

Note 18.09.2013: We’re still adding all the song panels to this website. All 60 will be on here before long so do keep checking back.