Escape the everyday with cultural events in Sheffield this autumn

Escape the everyday with cultural events in Sheffield this autumn

10 September 2020

Sheffield has a fantastic programme of vibrant events and festivals year-round, but like many events across the world, a lot of these have been postponed throughout 2020.

However that’s starting to change and as lockdown measures gradually ease, the city’s autumn events and festivals are now getting going again. Organisers from across the city have been busy working behind the scenes to create an exciting programme of cultural events over coming weeks, some which can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home and some which are supporting the city’s venues by being hosted live with limited audiences.

Things get underway with the return of Sheffield Heritage Open Days, part the national festival of history and culture which runs from 11 – 20 September. For the first time the festival will be offering both online events as well as in-person opportunities, while this year’s theme is ‘Hidden Nature’ encouraging you to discover natural heritage as well as manmade.

Sheffield’s HODs programme includes several examples of ‘hidden nature’ for you to explore, from Broomhill library’s hidden garden and the rich history of the Loxley Valley, to the quirky riverside garden of the Gardeners Rest pub.

Over 50 works from one of the UK’s most significant collections of Old Master drawings are set to return to Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery after wowing visitors earlier this year.  Reopening on Saturday 12 September, Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth features works by Carpaccio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and more. The exhibition is the largest display of drawings from the collection in over twenty years and will be on show until 1 November.

 The University of Sheffield’s unique collaborative festival showcasing local creative talent and world-class academic research, Festival of the Mind returns to the city next week for the fifth time, with a variety of activity taking place 17 - 27 September.
The festival is set to bring live events back to the people of Sheffield safely, with interactive exhibitions of virtual realities open to the public at Futurecade in the Millennium Gallery, and a gallery of inspiring artwork that will be on display at Sidney & Matilda. The iconic Spiegeltent, normally a fixture in Barkers Pool for Festival of the Mind, has been recreated digitally and will continue to be the home and heart of the festival through its digital reincarnation.

 A celebration of the oldest part of the city of Sheffield, Castlegate Festival returns at the end of the month with a mixture of live and digital activity. This year has been a significant one for the Castlegate area, as significant redevelopment has been underway and the latest transformations will be officially unveiled as part of the celebrations. Perhaps most significant of these is phase 2 of the Grey to Green scheme, which has seen the creation of the UK's largest inner city 'Green Street', a unique wildlife corridor that also provides a sustainable drainage solution that aids the city’s flood defence in the area. 

Sheffield Cathedral will be hosting the nationally touring memorial by Peter Walker. Created to honour those who have passed away during the pandemic, while also giving us all an opportunity to reflect on our collective experience, The Leaves of the Trees will see an installation made up of 5000 steel leaves laid out on the steps of the cathedrals inner chapel, which will be on show for visitors 3 - 29 October with FREE admission.

Sheffield’s Festival of Words, Off The Shelf is set to bring a line-up of some of the best names in literature to audiences, both at home and in person, when it returns for the 29th edition taking place 9 – 31 October. Highlights include Lee Child, author of the international bestselling Jack Reacher books, Simon Armitage, David Olusoga, Kit de Waal, Stuart Maconie and Susie Dent, alongside home grown talent Dan Walker, Helen Mort and Michelle Rawlins with Women of Steel.

Sheffield Doc/Fest has revealed a special autumn programme with both physical and online screenings, talks, discussions and several premieres from renowned international filmmakers. As part of their live strand of screenings, Doc/Fest will be hosting four special weekenders at the Showroom Cinema from 2 October – 15 November, with each weekend including a highlight selection of films from the 2020 Official Selection, talks and a digital art exhibition. Tickets for these are due to go on sale from 21 September.

In addition to all of that, Sheffield’s Music in the Round have unveiled a number of live classical performances for their autumn season. Tickets are on sale now and you can see the line-up of concerts available at:

Festivals aside, more of the city’s cultural attractions have also reopened with the likes of the Site Gallery, National Videogame Museum and Emergency Services Museum recently joining the Millennium Gallery, Weston Park Museum and Kelham Island to reopen to visitors. The Showroom Cinema is also set to reopen from Friday 18 September.  

Whether you’re a city resident or visitor looking for a staycation getaway, there’s a lot on offer to culture fans looking to escape the everyday in Sheffield this autumn, with more yet to be announced. See a rundown of Sheffield’s cultural events for the weeks ahead below and keep your eyes on Visit Sheffield’s social channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more announcements. @VisitSheffield   #SheffieldMakes

Heritage Open Days                                                    11 - 20 September

Lines of Beauty exhibition                                           12 September - 1 November

Festival of the Mind                                                     17 - 27 September

Castlegate Festival                                                     19 September - 10 October
link TBC

Doc/Fest Weekender: Into the World                           2 - 4 October

Leaves Of The Trees installation                                3 – 29 October

Off the Shelf Festival of Words                                   9 - 31 October

Doc/Fest Weekender: Rebellions                               16 -18 October

Doc/Fest Weekender: Rhyme & Rhythm                   30 October - 1 November

Doc/Fest Weekender Ghosts & Apparitions               13 - 15 November