Sheffield's 'biggest free independent festival' needs public's help to get back up and running

A fundraising event will be taking place to help raise money to ensure that Sheffield’s ‘biggest’ free family festival can go ahead after two years off due to the Covid pandemic.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 2:45 pm

Lowedges Festival, which attracts around 15,000 visitors a year, was called off in 2020 and 2021 due to fears over the coronavirus, having a devestating impact on the committee’s funding for future events.

Now, with high hopes of bringing the popular event back for 2022, the organisers are holding an event to raise the money for the ‘unglamorous running costs’ such as toilets, security and medical staff.

Stephen Rich, who has been secretary of the organisational committee since the festival was founded, said: “We usually do very well with business and groups paying for things like rides and sponsoring them, but finding the money for these core costs is often more difficult. People are not as keen to have their name on the toilets!

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Lowedges Festival

"The festival is really great for people, and lots often travel from all over the city to come.

"With us not being able to do it these last two years we just want to raise enough money to ensure it can go ahead in 2022.

"The toilets and security are not as glamorous as other parts of the event like the bungee jump, but they’re important and we need them for it all to happen.”

The fundraiser will take place at The White Hart on Greenhill Main Road on October 2.

It will begin at 7.30pm and will feature reggae DJ Rob Wellington, a buffet and a raffle.

Local MP for Sheffield Heeley Louise Haigh has also lent her support to the festival, telling Stephen the community ‘can’t afford to lose it’.

Lowedges Festival has been running since 2009, and is home to Sheffield’s biggest classic car and bike rally, as well as hundreds of stalls and rides – all for free.

A new website for the festival has been paid for by South Yorkshire Funders, and will be launched on September 17. If you are unable to make it to The White Hart, but wish to donate, you can do so by heading there.