Gardens seek crowds not clouds

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THERE will be more eyes on the weather than usual in the next few days as Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens prepares to host its busiest week of the year.

Alongside the Art In The Gardens weekend, the four-day Music In The Gardens is a showpiece feature of life in the city’s green enclave, not least for charities that benefit from four nights of bands.

Crookes-born star Paul Carrack, left, and globally-renowned jazz man Courtney Pine, below, are the high-profile names set to draw thousands on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Organisers – the Rotary clubs of Sheffield, Vulcan, Hallam and Wortley – have also booked a return from old favourites. Now in its sixth year, the 2011 offering gets into the swing of things on Wednesday with The Keith Peters Big Band and closes a week tomorrow with Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra.

Omar Puente is back by popular demand and will support Courtney Pine on the Friday evening while the Sheffield University Big Band opens for Keith Peters. Dodworth Colliery Band support the SPO and The Dizzy Club warm up the picnic rugs for Carrack, the man behind hits for Squeeze, Ace and The Eagles as well as solo triumphs, on Thursday.

This year’s beneficiaries are Help For Heroes, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Shelterbox and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

Tickets for Music In The Gardens are available from and from the Sheffield box office, priced £8 in advance for Wednesday and Saturday, £14 for Thursday and Friday. Door prices will be higher if capacity is available. Take your own drinks, eats and treats.