Things to do Sheffield: New two-week festival heading to city centre in August celebrating film, theatre and local food and drink

A brand new, two-week long festival is heading to Sheffield in the coming weeks, with a focus on all things screen, stage and the arts.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 2:08 pm

Festival On The Square, which will celebrate the best of Sheffield, will arrive on Monday, August 16.

Showcasing the cream of the crop of Sheffield’s creative arts scene, it will play host to 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, will give locals, as well as visitors, the opportunity to take part in a range of activities centred around the topic of art and its creation. This specifically curated programme aims to be accessible and welcoming to all with something for everyone.

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A brand new, two-week long festival is heading to Sheffield city centre this month celebrating all things film, theatre, art and local food and drink. Picture: James Stewart.

Alongside the exciting art programme, the Sheffield food and drinks scene has continued to boom and Festival On The Square will be catered by local bars and restaurants, with an onsite coffee cart from HYGGE and ice cream van from Granellis.

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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 Sheffield Flourish, art creation workshops spanning various mediums and a dedicated mural space for visitors and tourists to leave their mark.

The theatre programme, taking place on the final weekend, will be held directly outside the world-famous Crucible and Lyceum Theatres and is curated by Sheffield Theatres.

A broad, exciting programme of films put together by Sheffield’s own independent cinema, Showroom Cinema, will also run throughout the festival. Like the cinema’s own programme, films screened will include a mix of cult-favourites, family-friendly films, documentaries and award-winning classics. Screenings will take place from morning until evening most days, with a bit of something for everyone.

Alongside its programme of features, there will also be a showcase of films from Showroom’s long-term, local festival partners ShAFF and DocFest. Think, thrills and spills, with an intriguing range of work from local and international filmmakers.

The full programme will be revealed in the coming weeks, but festival-goers are being told to expect everything from Yorkshire classics like Kes, through to cinematic wonders including The Third Man, and family-favourites such as The Lion King, Hidden Figures, Back to the Future, Sister Act and Inside Out.

Alongside Showroom’s curated content, there will be educational screenings each weekday morning before the morning feature. Targeted at a wide age range, with the aim of keeping the younger brains engaged throughout the summer holidays.

For those looking for activities to get involved with, there will be a range of interactive workshops, performances and demonstrations provided by well known makers and artists in the area and local businesses, spanning topics such as spoken word, circus skills and pottery.

Throughout the festival, live music will be on hand to keep festival-goers entertained, with a plethora of professional street performers including Leona Jørgensen, semi-finalist from The Voice.

The event will be delivered by Tom Lord of hospitality consultancy BarCraft and Justin Rowntree from SweetSpot Hospitality, supported by Events Collective and thanks to a grant from the Sheffield City Council Covid-19 Economic Recovery Fund.

As influential figures in the local hospitality and drinks industry, Tom and Justin wanted to do something to bring the city back together and provide opportunities for local hospitality and cultural organisations to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tom said: “We’ve all been hugely impacted by the pandemic and we see this as an opportunity to come together to start to rebuild our industries. Sheffield is a brilliant place packed full of great arts, culture and people, and what better way to celebrate it than to create a space to showcase it all for free in the heart of the city.”

Justin added: “Tudor Square is such a brilliant space within the city. It’s in a great location and is the perfect place for us to start to rebuild and bring communities back together again. From families looking for something to do to those looking for a different type of evening out, we hope that the Festival On The Square will tempt people back into the centre and remind us why we are so lucky to call this city home.”