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11th August 2022

Over 4,000 party goers celebrated at the first Popworld Festival in Leeds

Stonegate Group’s leading late-night brand, Popworld, hosted the first Popworld Festival last Saturday [6 August 2022] in Millennium Square, Leeds.

Over 4,000 Popworld fans came together to enjoy some of the greatest pop acts of the 90s and 00s on a big stage, live, in the centre of Leeds. Live performances came from 5ive, S Club, Fatman Scoop, Paul Chuckle and Peter Andre.

Helen Charlesworth, Managing Director of Stonegate Group, said “This festival was originally planned for 2020, but like many live events, due to the pandemic, we had to postpone. The wait was most certainly worth it, and it was fantastic to see so many of our Popworld fans come together and enjoy the live experience – the atmosphere was electric.

“When my team came to me with this idea and the incredible line up of acts, I knew it was going to be a huge success. It has been great to turn the Popworld experience, that our guests know and love, into a live event. I cannot wait for next year’s festival.”

Popworld has been part of Stonegate Group for ten years and has grown to 35 sites. In the past three years, alone, Stonegate has invested over £11 million in these venues.

Helen continued: “Popworld is so much more than just a brand of late-night venues. Not only have I have seen the business grow over the years, but I have also witnessed the Popworld fanbase grow too, in many cases across family generations. I am proud to be part of its journey. Popworld is all about having fun and not taking life too seriously. Our venues are a place to simply enjoy yourself. I am confident the future is bright for this brand, with more to come.”



About Stonegate Group

Stonegate Group is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of over 4,500 sites, split across the managed division and leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs over 16,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Popworld, Be At One and Venues. Traditional (unbranded) pubs are made up of: Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, Classic Pub & Dining, Social Pub & Kitchen and Craft Union.


  • BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year (Jemelle Bish), Best Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATOP)
  • Publican Awards – Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company)


  • Licensed Trade Charity Awards raising awareness through fundraising
  • Great British Pub Awards– Stonegate Group Pub Partners’ Pub of the Year, Best Pub to Watch Sport
  • MCA Retailers’ Retailer Awards – The Hero Award (Suzanne Baker)


  • Great British Pub Awards– Feeding the Community, Community Mindfulness & Ei Publican Partnerships Pub of the Year
  • REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards– Best New Wellbeing Strategy (5000+ staff)
  • Publican Awards – Best Pub Employer (501+ employees)
  • Publican Awards –Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company)


  • BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year, Lee Woolley (2019); Best Managed Company for Training; Lifetime Achievement Award for Chairman, Ian Payne (2016)
  • CGA Insight Hero and Icon Awards(two awards): Icon Award   Ian Payne MBE, Business Leader, Simon Longbottom (2019)
  • UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards(two awards) – Icon Award (Ian Payne MBE), Best Marketing and Promotions Award (2019);  Best Service & Team (2018)
  • Great British Pub Awards– Best LGBTQ+ Pub (2019); Best LGBTQ+ and Best Sports Pub (2018); Best Pub Garden, Best Entertainment and Best Sports Pub (2017); Best Sports Pub (2016);
  • BII Scotland Awards Best Operator for Training (2019)
  • Retailers’ Retailer of the Year(two awards): Lifetime Achievement Award, Ian Payne MBE;  Investor of the Year   TDR Capital (2019); Investor of the Year: TDR Capital (2017)
  • Menu Innovation & Development Awards (MIDAS)(two awards):Best Menu, Premium High Street Pub: Slug & Lettuce; Best Menu, Town & City Pub: Walkabout (2019);  Premium High Street Pub: Town Pub & Kitchen (2017); Best New Concept:  Missoula, Montana Bar & Grill (2014); City and Bar Dining: Slug and Lettuce (2013)
  • Publican Awards(five awards): Best Community Pub Operator, Best Pub Employer (501+ employees), Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites), Best Drinks Offer, Business Leader of the Year   Chief Executive, Simon Longbottom (2019); Best Late Night Operator (2018); Best Managed Pub Company; Best Late Night Operator, plus highly commended   Best Employer 501+ employees (2017);  Business Leader of the Year, Chairman Ian Payne (2014); Best Pub Employer 51+ sites (2013)
  • British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) Chairman’s Award (2018)
  • Licensed Trade Charity: Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award (2018)
  • APPBG PUBAID Corporate Charity Fundraiser Award (2018)
  • Scottish Training Federation: Best Large Employer  (2016)
  • HR Excellence Awards: Best Learning and Development Strategy (2016)
  • HR Distinction Awards: Innovation for Digital & Social Media (2016); People Development (2015); Innovative Use of Technology (2014)

Press release from Leisure PR.

For further information, please contact Joanne Steward via