Experience Sheffield's past, present and future with unique immersive experience coming this summer

In celebration of Local and Community History Month, a free immersive experience comes to Sheffield this summer to show the city in virtual reality.

StoryTrails comes to Sheffield on July 27 and July 28 at Central Library as part of a two-day event.

The unique immersive storytelling experience will allow the people of Sheffield to experience the city in a completely new way through virtual reality.

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StoryTrails VR experience comes to Sheffield this summer.

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    Part of Unboxed UK, the experience will offer fun for all the family. It will feature a bespoke augmented reality story trail and unique, virtual map of the city using stories of local people.

    They will also showcase 3D scans of Sheffield’s beloved buildings and iconic places.

    Gemma Thorpe, Imaan Samson and Sile Sibanda, the local creatives working on the project, are using Local and Community History Month, which aims to increase awareness of local history, to put a spotlight on the developments that are well underway locally, and encourage everyone to participate in StoryTrails this summer.

    The creatives have been uncovering a myriad of stories and personalities across Sheffield, highlighting the town’s diverse and unique community, many of which will feature in the final experience.

    StoryTrails VR experience comes to Sheffield this summer.

    Across 15 locations, visitors will be able to enter digitally created worlds by using a VR headset, with these experiences available at every stop.

    ‘Time Travel’ will be guided by historian and television presenter, David Olusoga, in an augmented reality experience that will allow visitors to travel back in time and visit their virtual neighbours’ stories and see the fashion changes over the years.

    Sile Sibanda in Sheffield said: “The stories we are uncovering of the people in Sheffield are truly incredible. I don't think I realised how much history there is hidden away not only in film and photography, but also in people's memories. It's been magical finding some of those hidden stories.

    StoryTrails VR experience comes to Sheffield this summer.

    “Local history month is so important but our ambition is that, by using new technologies, we can inject a passion for history into people all year round. This project is about encouraging people to reassess what they know and develop new perspectives. It’s also about having fun, and I have no doubt that people in Sheffield will love the footage, pictures and stories we've unearthed.”

    Professor James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures and StoryTrails, said: “Local and Community History Month is the perfect time to release more information on the magic of StoryTrails. We can’t wait to immerse the people of Sheffield in the untold stories of their own communities and beyond. This about living and breathing local history and connecting with it in new ways. Get set for a summer of discovering the past and the future and some genuine surprises, all while having a fun day out.”

    Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer Unboxed Creativity in the UK, said: “StoryTrails invites audiences to discover hidden histories in communities across the UK using immersive technology as a window onto the past.

    “StoryTrails is one of 10 ground-breaking Unboxed projects taking place in 2022 that demonstrate the power of creative collaboration across science, technology and the arts to create extraordinary and never-seen-before public experiences.”