“It’s a great event” – Sheffield’s Festival On The Square event enjoyed by city’s residents

A brand new festival celebrating what Sheffield has to offer has kicked off this week, and the city’s residents and businesses have heaped praise on the event.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 5:22 pm
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 9:24 am

Festival On The Square is a brand new immersive festival celebrating what Sheffield has to offer on the art, cinema and theatre scene and features live art installations, blockbuster film screenings curated by Showroom Cinema, a series of shows curated by Sheffield Theatres, live entertainment and circus skills, as well as interactive workshops supported by some of the city’s best food and drink traders.

The festival, which will run until August 30, is giving visitors the opportunity to take part in a range of activities centred around the topic of art and its creation.

Activities will include a live art demonstration seeing the creation of an original large scale piece of art, exhibitions from local galleries and artists such as Burton Street Gallery, BUBBA 2000, and Rose Murphy, art creation workshops spanning various mediums and a dedicated mural space for visitors and tourists to leave their mark.

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Rationale Arts hosted a dance workshop at Festival on the Square. Picture Scott Merrylees

Alongside the exciting art programme, the festival features independent traders selling quality made products and is being catered by local bars and restaurants, with an onsite coffee cart from HYGGE and an ice cream van from Granelli's.

The event was organised by Tom Lord of hospitality consultancy BarCraft and Justin Rowntree from SweetSpot Hospitality, supported by Events Collective and funding from Sheffield City Council as part of the Summer in The Outdoor City project and the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Fund.

The aim of the Summer in The Outdoor City project is to encourage locals and visitors to explore Sheffield’s beautiful green outdoor space while celebrating the city’s strong independent scene.

We’ve spoken to visitors and local traders at the Festival On The Square to find out their thoughts on the event.

Rationale Arts host a dance workshop at Festival on the Square. Picture Scott Merrylees

Richie Morgan said: “I didn’t know this was happening, I only really stumbled across it today, but I think it’s great for Sheffield people and stall owners. The film aspect is cool, and if it wasn’t for the weather, I think it’d be a bit better. It’s just great to be back out again after lockdown.”

Stuart Mcadie, who owns the Alternative Store stall at the festival, said: “I think it’s a lovely idea. Obviously, it was all quite last minute, so it hasn’t been able to be marketed to the max, but that aside I think they’ve done a really good job.

"There’s been a great mix of films, and some of the music that has been on has been incredible. Some of the music acts are people that I’ve seen busking, and you don’t always realise how good they are because you’re just walking past, so being able to hear them on here, it’s like wow, they are great.

“Hopefully, they’ll be able to do it again, it’s been a steep learning curve for everybody, but with enough time to market it and build it up, I think it’ll do really well.

“Overall, I think it’s a great event, and the professionalism of what they’re doing is good. They’ve been really inclusive with different types of society, and there’s something for everybody.”

Andrew Nagle said that he believes Sheffield needs more events like Festival on the square to bring people into the city.

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