‘Higher than normal' turnout for Sheffield's Art in the Gardens 2020

Thousands of art lovers from across the region visited Sheffield Botanical Gardens at the weekend, for the 17th annual Art in the Gardens.

By Nik Farah
Sunday, 6th September 2020, 1:31 pm

Over 4,500 visitors attended the two-day ticket-only event to soak up paintings, sculptures, crafts, and demonstrations from exhibiting artists across the UK.

Organisers revealed they were delighted with the turn-out for the event – often billed as the North’s biggest outdoor art show - and the respect people were showing for new covid safety measures.

"Interestingly, attendance this year has been higher than normal,” said Phil Clifton, major events manager at Sheffield City Council.

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Art in the Gardens 2020 went ahead this weekend

“We sold out all four of our time slots, and I think that’s owing to a combination of factors: lovely art, lovely food, lovely gardens, nice weather, and people being so keen to come out to an event after months of lockdown.”

A host of new safety measures were in effect in the gardens, including bookable time slots – to limit numbers – face coverings in indoor spaces, hand sanitiser, and temperature-taking at the entrance.

Stalls were limited to two customers or one family bubble at a time, and people were asked to be mindful of social distancing.

There was also a slightly reduced number of exhibitors, due to spacing in some of the large marquees.

Artist Peter Woolley at Art in the Gardens 2020

Artist Peter Woolley, who has been exhibiting at Art in the Gardens for the past seven years, said: “I think it’s really impressive how the event has been run this year, and how visitors have embraced the changes.

"The two bookable slots each day have been great for those exhibiting, as it’s been a constant sea of new faces throughout the day.

"I think I, along with everyone, is aware that this year feels a little different, with the masks and the distancing, but I think everyone is just so delighted to be out at an event – I know I am!

”My diary was wiped completely clear in March, so this is my first exhibition of the year, and it’s just terrific to be here.”

Numbers were kept limited in indoor areas

This year’s event, sponsored by Graysons Solicitors, saw premier artists featured in the pavilions and marquees, sculpture on the lawns, an Open Art Exhibition, and ‘Home and Gardens’ area.

Art in the Gardens 2020
Exhibitors were reduced this year, to ensure social distancing was possible
Many visitors wore masks as they walked between stalls and marquees
There were two bookable time slots each day, to ensure no more than 1,200 visitors per session were in the park
Art in the Gardens 2020 went ahead this weekend
Visitors were asked to wear masks inside tented areas
Artwork on the lawn
No more than two visitors, or one family bubble, per stall at any one time
Art in the Gardens 2020
Art in the Gardens 2020 went ahead this weekend
Art in the Gardens 2020 went ahead this weekend
Art in the Gardens 2020 went ahead this weekend
Local vendors were serving food at the event