University mindful of another festival

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SHEFFIELD University’s Festival of the Mind is set to make a comeback – after the resounding success of the first event which saw more than 16,000 visitors attending over 11 days.

It will return as a mini-celebration next September, with the next full festival planned for autumn 2014 – featuring new projects, ideas and inspiring collaborations.

The first event in September featured 56 city-wide events, including tours of the university’s ‘secret’ Alfred Denny Museum, a poem being launched into space and an army of robots creating art.

It was the brainchild of Professor Vanessa Toulmin, the university’s head of cultural engagement and showman sculptor Anthony Bennett. The idea was to take the work of the university out directly into the life of the city, making it accessible to all.

Prof Vanessa said: “We were blown away by the success of Festival of the Mind. Everyone worked so hard, but we never could have anticipated 16,000 visitors.

“I knew the people of Sheffield would have a real appetite to engage with our research if we presented in the right way, and this just shows how much potential this kind of activity has.”

The university has committed funding for the next festival in 2014, which is set to be even bigger and better than this year. Events will again take place across the city but centre around the beautiful 1920s cabaret spiegeltent that captivated audiences in Barker’s Pool.