Sheffield Fright Night to take year off over funding worries

Fright Night,Sheffield City Centre.....Amy Lambert,Perri Bark,Jack Short
Fright Night,Sheffield City Centre.....Amy Lambert,Perri Bark,Jack Short
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Sheffield’s big Fright Night event – which attracts up to 40,000 visitors to the city centre at Halloween – is being dropped.

Organisers have revealed plans to take a ‘rest’ this year after facing a series of financial and other issues, with a view to bringing the celebration back in 2015.

Fright Night,Sheffield City Centre.....Scarry in Fargate

Fright Night,Sheffield City Centre.....Scarry in Fargate

It will be the first break in 13 years – during which time Fright Night has become the biggest Halloween party of its kind in the country.

Scott Barton, of Yellow Bus Events, which organises the free event, said it had become a ‘victim of its own success’.

Fright Night cost £65,000 to stage last October, and Sheffield Council has reduced its contribution by 40 per cent over two years.

In 2013 stallholders and fairground operators pitched in to help offset bills for barriers, stewarding, road signs, first aid and health and safety measures.

High winds and heavy rain also put last year’s activities in doubt for a time, and there have been worries over the risk of South Yorkshire Police charging for its services.

“We sat down with the council and came to the conclusion there is not the appropriate level of resources to put on the event in the way we have done for the past 13 years,” said Mr Barton.

“We need to take a year out and rest the event. We intend to bring it back in 2015 when there are the possibilities of more funding.

“It has always been run on a shoestring budget and we have got to the point where we can’t do it properly.”

Smaller-scale Halloween events, including fancy dress for youngsters, are being planned for this October. Rides, stalls and other entertainment take over the city centre for Fright Night.

Council cabinet member Isobel Bowler said Fright Night was ‘a fantastic community event’, but added: “We will use the year off to look at options for an event focused on families and younger children.

“We hope Fright Night will return in 2015.”