Lowedges Festival Sheffield: ‘Scaled down’ fun day set to go ahead despite collapse of Greenhill Park event

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A Sheffield village is to get a ‘scaled down’ festival this summer, it has been announced today.

It was revealed earlier this year that the popular Lowedges Festival, which takes place at Greenhill Park, would not go ahead this year because of a shortage of volunteers and its main organiser going into semi-retirement.

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Now the ward councillors for the area have confirmed there will be a family fun day running in its place, after they secured £6,000 to pay for a stop-gap event which is expected to include fairground rides, and football sessions run by Sheffield Wednesday.

A 'scaled down’ family fun day is set to go ahead in Lowedges this summer, despite the collapse of the big Lowedges Festival in Greemhill Park, that traditionally attracts over 10,000 people. File picture shows a dancing display at a past Lowedges festical. Picture: Sarah Washbourn / National WorldA 'scaled down’ family fun day is set to go ahead in Lowedges this summer, despite the collapse of the big Lowedges Festival in Greemhill Park, that traditionally attracts over 10,000 people. File picture shows a dancing display at a past Lowedges festical. Picture: Sarah Washbourn / National World
A 'scaled down’ family fun day is set to go ahead in Lowedges this summer, despite the collapse of the big Lowedges Festival in Greemhill Park, that traditionally attracts over 10,000 people. File picture shows a dancing display at a past Lowedges festical. Picture: Sarah Washbourn / National World

The Lib Dem councillors for Beauchief and Greenhill ward said today that the event would ensure local children and families have a fun day out following the announcement that the annual Lowedges Festival would be postponed this year.

Fairground rides

The festival regularly attracts around 13,000 visitors, and features fairground rides, live music, historical re-enactment, and a classic car show, along with plenty of good food and drink. However, it was announced last month that this year’s event would be cancelled, following the semi-retirement of its main organiser.

The local Lib Dems have now said in a statement that a plan was being finalised for a scaled-back event, date still to be confirmed, to replace the cancelled festival, with £6,000 in funding having been made available from the local ward and local area committee budgets to ensure a stop gap ‘Family Fun Day’ goes ahead.

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The event will be at locations across Lowedges. Children will be free to enjoy fairground rides, entertainers and face painting, and football on Greenhill Park led by Sheffield Wednesday.

Councillor Simon Clement-Jones, Chair of the South Local Area Committee, said: “I was very disappointed to hear that the Lowedges Festival wouldn’t go ahead this year – it’s a fantastic event for the community, especially for children in the neighbourhood. We’re looking ahead to explore how we can help the full festival return in 2024.

“This may mean further health and safety support, finding additional volunteers, or looking at moving the festival to a larger site to cope with the amount of people. In the meantime, it was important to us that something ran this year for the community. I’m looking forward to attending, and I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic day.”

Lack of new volunteers

Coun Sophie Thornton, Beauchief and Greenhill ward councillor, said: “Primarily, the festival can’t go ahead this year due to a lack of new volunteers, as well as difficulties with funding. The fun day will be a stopgap, but we want Lowedges Festival to return next year on a sustainable basis.

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“The festival is at its heart a grassroots, community event, not a council one, so we’re appealing for volunteers to arrange and support the festival next year and into the future. If you have experience of organising community events or are interested in helping out to make sure the festival can run again, please sign up to our festival mailing list at shefflibdems.org.uk/lowedges.”

Stephen Rich, the secretary of the Lowedges Community Festival Group, said last month there were hopes of creating events at Lowedges community centre, The Lowedges Tenants and Residents Association base, and St Michael’s Church.