The Ultimate Guide to What’s On in Sheffield this summer
10 August 2021
Still planning a summer staycation trip? There’s lots on offer in Sheffield to keep you entertained! With so much happening, we’ve collated some highlights of the best exhibitions, markets, festivals, theatre, live music and family events to enjoy across The Outdoor City over the next few weeks. Here’s our ultimate guide to What’s On in the city this summer...
The Hedgerow Market is a brand-new monthly market, coming to Division Street on Saturday 21 August with over 20 stalls. Division Street has long been a stronghold of vibrant independent businesses and the market will be interwoven between the street’s vibrant shops, bars and cafes, with live music and a sprinkling of street food too. One of the largest outdoor art markets in England, Art in the Gardens returns to Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens 4 - 5 September, with artists and craft makers from across the UK. Popular street food night market, Peddler, is also back in Kelham Island 4 - 5 September with some of the UK’s finest street food vendors. From the same organisers that run Sheffield Food Festival, the Sheffield Harvest Fayre is a new event coming to the city centre streets 18 – 19 September, celebrating the city’s vibrant food scene. This will also coincide with Sheffield Creative Guild’s first Makers Market in Orchard Square on Saturday 18 September and the first Pollen Market, a new flower and plant market coming to Castlegate on Sunday 19 September.
Festival on the Square will be setting up in Tudor Square for two weeks, to celebrate the best the best of Sheffield’s creative scene with live art installations, film screenings, open-air theatre and interactive workshops 16 – 30 August. Similarly, Sheffield Showcase is a weekend-long programme of activity 2- 5 September, set to highlight the variety of cultural activity in the city, with film screenings, music performances, art exhibits and family-friendly activities. There’s lots happening 10 -19 September, as Castlegate Festival, Heritage Open Days (HODs) and Sheffield Walking Festival all return. HODs and the walking festival will see events in multiple locations across the city over 10 days, while Castlegate Festival is specifically a celebration of the oldest part of the city, though there’s crossover activity between all three of these festivals. There’s also some exciting additions to the 2021 edition of Castlegate Festival, with outdoor live music and markets, plus Sheffield Waterfront Festival will also be on Saturday 18 September at Victoria Quays.
The Bears of Sheffield is a huge outdoor art trail with 160 distinctive bear sculptures now installed in public places across the city, all ready and waiting to be found, on show until 30 September. There a two bears at Sheffield Cathedral alone, which is also hosting The Foundry exhibition celebrating the city’s long association with steel through digital technology, sound, art and sculpture- running until 3 September. At the Millennium Gallery, John Hoyland: The Last Paintings shows some of the last paintings made by one of Britain’s leading abstract artists, Sheffield-born John Hoyland. The recently opened Earthbound exhibition at the Millennium Gallery presents works spanning landscape paintings, moving image and video installation, sculpture and photography to reflect on our relationship with the natural environment. Elsewhere, Platform 20, is a three-venue exhibition from Sheffield artists James Clarkson, Conor Rogers, Maud Haya-Baviera, Victoria Lucas & Joanna Whittle. You can see their work at Site Gallery, Yorkshire Artspace and Bloc Projects until 22 August.
We also eagerly await the reopening of the Graves Gallery from 3 September, complete with a new displays including an exhibition of work by sculptor Mark Firth, the first chance to see Pandemic Diary, a new series of drawings by Phlegm and a new exhibition curated by pioneering artist Keith Piper.
Live music is back! And you can find all kinds of music in all kinds of places across the city over the next few weeks- from Opera on Location at Kelham Island Museum and Concerteenies’ Woodland performances for kids, to Drum & Bass at Don Valley Bowl with Bassfest and Sheffield Reggae Festival.
Explore the city with Sheffield Music Trails and enjoy FREE live music across a host of independent venues in Sheffield, as well as some unexpected places, on Saturdays 21 and 28 August. There’s live music aplenty in Leopold Square on every weekend throughout the summer and special extravaganza on Auguts Bank Holiday Weekend. Elsewhere, two of Sheffield’s much-loved venues have teamed up for an August Bank Holiday music festival, as The Sheffield Pop Weekender takes place at Sidney & Matilda and pub Shakespeare’s. Peddler Warehouse are also set to celebrate the Bank Holiday in style with their Triple Cooked Open Air Party. Live music continues, as Rockin the Bowl promises rock and roll assault on the senses, with their three day festival this September and little later in the year, while No Bounds Festival returns in October with their standard offering of electronic sounds, forward-thinking music and much more.
Aside to the Bears of Sheffield, there’s some great events for families on offer! Bringing the fun of a trip to the seaside into the heart of the city, Sheffield by the Seaside is in the Peace Gardens every day until 30 August complete with lots to entertain. Join the Family Picnic Day at Sheffield General Cemetery gardens and try your hand at circus skills. Meet the animals and more, at Graves Park Animal Farm’s Fun Day or join First Buses as they celebrate their 60th Birthday with a big bus themed fun day too . Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust are hosting lots of events to help get little ones exploring outdoors in the school holidays and there’s some at Sheffield Manor Lodge too. Indoors, Sheffield Museums Trust offer a great programme of holiday activities, plus all their sites are FREE to visit. You can experience Jurassic Park and Moulin Rouge on a big the screen with The Village Screen’s open-air cinema at Kenwood Hall in September and there’s lots of family activities on offer at city festivals such as Festival on the Square, Sheffield Waterfront Festival and Sheffield Showcase.
Ready to enjoy the thrill of live theatre again? Smash-hit musical Hairspray is coming to the Lyceum Theatre 16 – 21 August, followed by the world premiere of detective thriller Looking Good Dead, starting Eastenders icon, Adam Woodyatt, 23 -28 August. Musicals in the Lyceum continue, with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s classic, Tell Me On a Sunday 31 August- 4 September and then a musical adaption of cult classic Heathers 14 -18 September. In the Studio Theatre, a production a little closer to home, Operation Crucible, returns to retell the events of the Sheffield Blitz 2 – 25 September. Over at Sheffield’s Theatre Deli, there’s a whole host of exciting experimental theatre, improvised comedy and cabaret over coming weeks- see their listings here.