Sound of Sheffield’s Music in the Gardens keeps thousands entertained on 10th anniversary

The Last Night in the Gardens concert in full swing at Sheffield's Botanical Gardens
The Last Night in the Gardens concert in full swing at Sheffield's Botanical Gardens
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Hot weather, big crowds and a packed line-up made for a 10th anniversary to remember at Sheffield’s Music in the Gardens festival.

Crowd numbers were up slightly on last year’s event, with around 7,000 people heading to the Botanical Gardens over four nights for concerts by Paul Carrack, Lindisfarne and The Proclaimers, as well as a ‘Last Night of the Proms’-style spectacular with lavish fireworks.

Andrew Bates, joint production manager, said it was ‘a good success’ overall.

“Every night people loved it,” he said.

“Paul Carrack was great, and for me Lindisfarne was probably one of the best nights in terms of audience participation. They said it was the best concert they’d played all year. The Proclaimers were blown away by the audience, too - they had a capacity crowd in of 3,100.

“The last night was a bit quieter, with 1,400 in, but they all enjoyed it and there was a massive firework display after the orchestra had done their bit.”

A much bigger stage set-up was introduced this year as a way of celebrating the concerts’ 10th birthday.

“People really loved the bigger stage and the better visuals we were able to create with that,” said Andrew.

“Overall we had roughly 7,000 people in over four nights, which is very respectable and a couple of hundred up on last year.”

The good attendance means tens of thousands will once again have been raised for charities supported by the Rotary Clubs of South Yorkshire, which are behind the festival.

Sudden downpours caused by the heatwave added an element of surprise for audiences, but mostly the skies remained clear.

“On Thursday it chucked it down with rain for the first half, but it stopped by half past eight when Paul Carrack came on. We were reasonably lucky with the weather,” Andrew said, adding that organisers ‘learned a lot’ this year about putting on a bigger production.

“From the logistics side of it we learned to cope with the heat. When we were trying to get the stage into position we were still battling the heat on the hottest day of the year, an experience we’ll probably try not to repeat again. There was nowhere to hide!”