Preparations are well under way for this year’s all-new “Out of This World” festival, coming to Sheffield city centre in less than two weeks’ time.
Themed around magic, sci-fi and horror, the festival aims to be a family-friendly celebration of all things out of the ordinary.
Organising the magic aspect of the two-day event is Russell J Hall, who organised last year’s successful Sheffield Street Magic Festival as well as being a performer, lecturer, author and proprietor of the “Magick” emporium in Broad Street for almost 40 years.
A packed programme of street performances will take place around the Town Hall, Barkers Pool and Fargate between 12.30pm and 4pm on Saturday, 1 November and Sunday, 2 November.
Junior magicians will be able to learn some tricks at children’s workshops in the Town Hall on the Saturday, while the venue will also play host to a Spooky Magic event in atmospheric wooden-panelled chambers that evening, culminating with a reconstruction of a Victorian seance.
There will also be a full magical stage show at the Library Theatre in Surrey Street on Sunday 2 November.
That show will be hosted by Sheffield-based Steve Faulkner, who will perform alongside several of his magician friends, including John Archer, a former Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year and the first to fool Penn and Teller on ITV’s “Penn and Teller – Fool Us” show hosted by Jonathan Ross.
Magic, meanwhile, is just one of the three major themes that will be running throughout Out of This World.
The festival’s sci-fi theme, featuring a convention, walkabouts, displays, workshops and film screenings, will be situated in the Winter Garden, Tudor Square and the Showroom cinema.
The horror aspect of the festival will be based around The Moor, including the Moor Market, which will be hosting workshops, craft sessions and more on Saturday, 1 November.
And for those who want to get truly out of this world, there’s going to be telescopes in the Peace Gardens for a spot of stargazing.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re really looking forward to this new-look festival in the city centre for Halloween.
“Out of this World gives people a chance to discover activities they may not have come across in the city before, such as gaming, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.
“But we’ve retained familiar aspects as well – fairground attractions, magic and traditional horror themed activities. We think there really is something for everyone across the city centre
“I hope families will make the most of the free activities and experiences on offer during Out of This World, and come along to enjoy the weekend.”
Out of This World, which is being run in conjunction with partners including MoorSheffield, the Showroom cinema, Farrah’s Funfairs and Heart, runs from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday, 1 November and Sunday, 2 November. Fairground rides will operate from 11am to 6pm.
Tickets for Sunday’s Night of Magic, which cost £10 for adults and £5 for children, and the Spooky Magic show on the Saturday (tickets £8) are now available by calling 0114 276 0482 between 11am and 5.30pm each day.
The Spooky Magic show at the Town Hall is at 6.45pm on Saturday, 1 November, and the Night of Magic show begins at 7.30pm on Sunday, 2 November.