Robin Hood: free ‘outlaw’s’ event with live music, heritage talks and games coming to Loxley

Sensoria and a band of merry partners campaigning to celebrate Robin Hood’s local links have announced a free event with live music, talks and other activities.

The family-friendly Outlaw’s Picnic will take place from 11am to 4pm on Thursday, June 2 – the spring bank holiday – at Loxley Primary School grounds, Rodney Hill, S6 6SG.

Little Haggas Croft, near the event site, is believed to be the birthplace of Robin Hood – also known as Robin of Loxley.

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Sensoria and a band of merry partners campaigning to celebrate Robin Hood’s local links have announced a free event with live music, talks and other activities in Loxley.

The event will include acoustic music from Nat Johnson, Nancy Kerr and Little Robots; refreshments from B’Reyt Dough pizzas and a bar; games; book and art stalls; and talks.

People are encouraged to wear fancy dress or red and green – matching the Robin Hood theme – and bring their own picnic if they wish.

Limited parking is available at the venue but a shuttle bus service will run from the city centre and cost £4 for a return ticket.

The Outlaw’s Picnic is part of a campaign to reclaim Robin Hood which has so far seen a book exploring the South Yorkshire tales, trails and traditions behind the legend; an outdoor film screening in Loxley valley woodland; and a location-based app highlighting key spots relating to the folk hero around the region.

Sensoria’s book, Reclaiming Robin Hood: Folklore & South Yorkshire’s Infamous Outlaw

Future plans include a statue of young Robin Hood in Loxley and a trail with silver arrow plaques marking the points on the app.

The project is led by Sensoria and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Graves Trust, Culture and Creativity Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University, Loxley Primary School, Sheffield Council and local historian Ron Clayton.

Robin Hood’s links to Sheffield and South Yorkshire

Like most storytelling, the legend of Robin Hood has evolved over time and various places now stake claim to the folk hero including Wakefield and Kirklees.

Dan Eaton, of Loxley Primary School, and Dr David Clarke, associate professor at Sheffield Hallam University and co-founder of the Centre for Contemporary Legend.

But the earliest known documents and ballads locate his birthplace as Little Haggas Croft, in Loxley, and his stomping ground as the forests and woodlands of Barnsdale and South Yorkshire.

Dr David Clarke, associate professor at Sheffield Hallam University and co-founder of the Centre for Contemporary Legend, said: “The story that Robin was born at Loxley can be traced back in documentary evidence and oral tradition to the early 17th century. The moniker ‘Robin of Loxley’ has since become part of popular culture.

“Sheffield could make so much more of its status as the birthplace of one of England’s greatest folk heroes. But at the moment there is nothing for tourists to visit or see. We are working with Sensoria to bring Robin home.”

How to get tickets for the event and further information

Dogs are not allowed on the site because it is a school field.

The site is accessible but it is on the slope of a hill and a ‘K gate’ is installed at the entrance.

The event is free but ticketed. Tickets can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/outlaws-picnic-tickets-99006094895

Sensoria’s book, Reclaiming Robin Hood: Folklore & South Yorkshire’s Infamous Outlaw, can be purchased here: https://www.sensoria.org.uk/sensoria-shop/reclaiming-robin-hood-booklet/