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Sheffield set for another jam-packed year of exciting events

Art, music, food, sport, the outdoors, literature, film, sci-fi and much more; Sheffield looks back on a year of diverse and exciting events, and announces the highlights for 2020.

In 2019 Sheffield City Council, along with partners, hosted more than 400 events, which saw more than 737,000 people taking part, spectating and having a great time.

With a line-up like nowhere else Sheffielders, and visitors from across the country and the world enjoyed the likes of Cliffhanger, Tramlines, World Snooker, Off the Shelf, DocFest, Art in the Gardens, Let’s Ride, Race for Life, Out of This World, British Universities Championships, Sheffield Food Festival, Christmas Lights Switch On and so much more.

The city also hosted the first ever Invictus UK Trials, delivering a week of competition across nine sports, which saw more than 300 wounded, injured and sick ex-service personnel battle it out for a place in the Invictus UK team. All of this took place alongside a programme of cultural activities, featuring a West End musical, Art in the Aftermath exhibition, dance workshops, a Military Village and sponsored Poppy Walk recounting the city’s military history.

The Sheffield Town Hall played host to more than 100 events, from small civic gatherings and meetings to national conferences, as well as celebrating with scores of couples who saw out their big day in the grandeur of the Town Hall, with the council’s wedding planning team.

And 2020 looks set to be just as exciting. The council’s major events team and city partners have pulled together a hugely diverse events programme that caters for all ages, interests, cultures and abilities, providing plenty of opportunities for all to try something new and get involved in the things they love. Read our Essential Events Guide 2020 for all the highlights.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “2019 brought us a hugely exciting year of events and 2020 will not disappoint. The thing I am most proud of is the variety of events hosted across Sheffield. No matter what you are interested in, how old you are, how able you are, how much money you have, what your background is or what language you speak, the diversity of our city is reflected in our events programme and there truly is something for everyone.

“We have the facilities, infrastructure and expertise to deliver events on every scale, indoor and outdoor, of world class standard, whether it’s our parks, stadiums, arena, theatres, we can cater for everything. Last year our successful bids to secure two huge international events, The Rugby League World Cup and The UEFA Women’s European Football Championship in 2021, demonstrate Sheffield’s reputation and ability to deliver.

“But at the heart of our events is the people, they are the ones who make it special. We have so much local talent, which we see every year at events like the Fringe at Tramlines, Folk Forest, Peaty’s Steel City Downhill Race and Sheffield Fayre’s horticultural show; but it’s also about community spirit and never have I seen anything close to the spirit we shared on the day of the Mi Amigo fly-over last February. It was a truly emotional day that united the whole city in commemoration of a local historic event.”

The Mi Amigo Flypast over Endcliffe Park

Hosting such a huge number of events that are attended by so many people and attract visitors from outside the city, clearly has an impact and Sheffield has racked up some pretty impressive figures.

Last year the city’s event programme generated millions of pounds being spent in the city, often with local businesses, at local venues and on local civic services, contributing at least £19.4million to the local economy.

As well as money spent in the city, events have helped create and/or support the equivalent of more than 300 jobs, and more than 5,700 people volunteered across a range of events in Sheffield.

Events such as ParkRun, the Half Marathon, Let’s Ride and Cliffhanger resulted in more than 112,000 people taking part in physical activity, many of whom have gone on to lead more active lifestyles.

Sheffielders take to the streets to cycle along a traffic-free circuit

Across a number of events, (including Let’s Ride, The Fringe at Tramlines, Christmas Lights Switch On, Invictus UK Trials, Sheffield 10K Road Race) hundreds of people were surveyed with over 84% saying they enjoyed or were satisfied with the events.

People told us...

Invictus UK Trials: "I'll keep banging on about it, but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHEFFIELD!!!! I actually feel like I've got a future! So thank you again!"

The Fringe at Tramlines: "Brilliant, so great to have free events across the city alongside the festival. Created such an awesome atmosphere and buzz around the city, please continue to run this every year!"

Sheffield 10K: "You can't beat the Sheffield spirit, of the participants and the locals. That's what makes the run at Sheffield magical and unique, even at the back we were still made to feel like Mo Farah!"

Christmas Lights Switch On: "A truly magical afternoon, the lights, music, the Christmas tree, children's happy excited smiling faces, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas atmosphere in the brilliant family friendly city of Sheffield was a treat not to be missed."

Tramlines and The Fringe at Tramlines in Sheffield 2019

As well as being seen by those attending, Sheffield’s events are watched by the eyes of the world, putting the city on the map nationally and internationally. The Mi Amigo fly-past was broadcast live on BBC Breakfast reaching three million UK viewers and millions more as far as Pakistan, Australia and the USA. Sporting events including The World Snooker Championship, British Figure Skating Championships, Invictus UK Trails, British Bouldering Championships, and various national swimming competitions have all had action and highlights featured on the BBC Live and red button racking up millions of viewers, and trending across social media.

Cllr Lea added: “In these times of austerity tough decisions have to be made on how we spend our very limited budget, but it’s clear to me that a citywide programme of diverse events is essential for Sheffield. We know the impact of events is huge, economically, in terms of visitor spend, jobs, skills, attracting talent, attracting visitors, retaining our student population, but most importantly for our people.

“It’s why we put on events. So that Sheffielders can have rich, vibrant experiences, try something new, kick start an active lifestyle, create memories with all the family, connect with communities and other cultures, and have something to look forward to.

“And, in 2020 there’s plenty to look forward to and I would encourage everyone to get their diaries out and start planning because we have so much going on that’s not to be missed.”

Sheffield City Council works with a range of partners to deliver they city’s event programme including Sheffield BID, SIV, Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Run for All, British Cycling, Tramlines and many others.

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