A special virtual concert will showcase some of the biggest stars of the 80s this week as Leeds comes together to ensure the music doesn’t stop.

This Friday should have seen 80s icons Jimmy Somerville, Belinda Carlisle, Go West and T’Pau’s Carol Decker all performing live in Leeds on Millennium Square alongside the Orchestra of Opera North for the second instalment of 80s Classical.

Unfortunately due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the need for safe social distancing, the concert had to be postponed until its corresponding date in 2021.

But after a rapturous reception for the world premiere performance in 2019 however, organisers Leeds City Council didn’t want the date to go unmarked and teamed up with the show producers to create a virtual mini-concert for audiences which will be premiered at the same time as the original concert was due to take place at 8pm on Friday 24 July.

Featuring a mix of live video footage and audio recordings, the 45 minute mini-concert will showcase exclusive performances from the 2019 event including Jimmy Somerville, Howard Jones, Nik Kerhsaw and Carol Decker together with a selection of crowd-pleasing 80s favourites including; Toto’s Africa, The Jacksons’ Can You Feel it, and Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) all performed by the talented ensemble of backing vocalists, Bianca Claxton, Gavin Condor and Adetoun Anibi.

The musical masterminds behind 80s Classical are composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson whose credits include Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis. “We’re absolutely gutted that we are not able to do the live show this year for obvious reasons and it would have been a real shame not to have been able to mark the occasion in some way” says Cliff.

Steve Anderson adds “It has been such a tough year for everyone so far and we are so pleased to still be able to showcase some of the biggest and most iconic songs of the 80s and to share some of the joy of last year’s event with old and new audiences in a different kind of way”

Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: ““It’s been incredibly hard to see so many fantastic concerts and performances cancelled or postponed and we know it’s been disappointing for the thousands of people who come together each year to enjoy our wonderful musical programme.

“Despite this, the people of Leeds have shown so much understanding and patience and we’re pleased to be working with our partners to give them the opportunity to enjoy this exciting and unique event in a safe setting.”

To view the FREE virtual concert, audiences can either visit the Millennium Square Facebook page at at www.facebook.com/millsqleeds or visit the Millennium Square YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UCIcuk0Q03bJk8IVPXeZlSiw

Tickets for the actual live event on Friday 23 July 2021 and are priced at £33 (standing) or £39.50 for reserved seating (limited number and are available to purchase online at www.millsqleeds.com, by telephone (0113 376 0318) or in person from the City Centre Box Office in Leeds Town Hall. Tickets are also be available from Opera North. The venue is also fully accessible with a raised viewing platform, disabled toilets and a Changing Places high dependency unit. Full accessibility information and companion ticket details are available from the venue website or by calling the City Centre Box office.

80s Classical is part of a trio of special outdoor summer classical concerts organised in partnership between Leeds City Council and Opera North, and forming one of the key cultural highlights of the annual Millennium Summer Series programme. Club Classical Anthems featuring John Newman, Ultra Nate, Black Box and Kelli-Leigh and a live screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark will also take place on Saturday 24 July and Sunday 25 July 2021 respectively.

For further event programme and venue details ticketing, venue and visitor information visit www.millsqleeds.com