New Halloween festival for Sheffield revealed

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A new free Halloween festival is to draw thousands of people to Sheffield city centre - as Fright Night takes a year off.

Street magic, a sci-fi convention with film characters as well as cars, plus a spooky Satan’s Grotto and film festival feature in the family-friendly Out of this World daytime event on November 1-2.

The city centre will become three zones for people to discover.

It comes after organisers decided to take a break from Fright Night, which ran for 13 years and was the biggest Halloween party of its kind, because of financial and other issues such as worries over police charging.

Sheffield Council insists Out of This World is ‘not a replacement’ and the two could run together in future.

There is a budget of £15,000, which the council says it had already allocated for Fright Night, while Aberdeen Asset Management and traders will contribute.

It is hoped 40,000 people will attend, the same that went to Fright Night.

City centre manager Richard Eyre said there would be ‘no other festival like it’, and the idea had come after street magic attracted thousands last year .

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, added:“It is part of our strategy for Sheffield to have a series of key events all year, some are massive like Tramlines, some smaller but they get the city centre buzzing.

“That helps in terms of how people feel about the city centre and footfall.”

The festival is being run with Yellow Bus Events, which was involved with Fright Night.

Managing director Scott Barton said they would build on Fright Night’s Little Brother to stage a Halloween party with theatre, dance, music and rides on The Moor.

He said: “I understand the police charging issue has been resolved.

“After this year we can sit down and work out if it is viable to stage Fright Night.

“These events bring people, from Whirlow to Wincobank, together to have fun.”

People will be encouraged to dress up as their favourite heroes and villains to get into the spirit of the festival - which includes fairground rides and runs until 6pm.

The sci-fi, comic book and gaming zone will run around the Winter Garden, Tudor Square and Peace Gardens. Features there include arcade games, comic book artists, trade stands and walkabouts from characters such as Daleks and the Knight Rider car.

The Showroom cinema will be running a sci-fi themed programme of films, with craft sessions and workshops.

Magical activities are to take over the Town Hall, including children’s workshops and a haunted magic event on Saturday night.

Satan’s Grotto - otherwise known as The Moor Market - will include ghost stories, skeleton making and a fancy dress parade.

The Moor itself will host spooky dance demonstrations, horror theatre and puppet shows.

A highlight will be the Little Monsters Halloween party on Sunday, which has a live mummy in a cage.

Businesses are also able to join in the festival can also get involved by contacting the council.