Thursday 18 December 2014

While most people aren’t thinking much further ahead than their plans for ringing in the New Year, Sheffield City Council’s Major Events Team are already lining up a packed events calendar for 2015.

From sport and leisure to culture and the arts, the events and festivals planned for the coming year are set to capture the imaginations of not just Sheffielders, but visitors from across the UK and beyond.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “2014 was an absolutely fantastic year for Sheffield in terms of major events, not least due to the Tour de France’s Grand Depart finishing right here in the city on that exciting Sunday in July.

“We also welcomed the first ever Out of This World festival of magic, sci-fi and horror, filled the Botanical Gardens with art during Art in the Gardens, hosted the World Snooker Championships once again, and also made some important moves in establishing our events calendar in the years to come – not least with the confirmation that Sheffield has been selected to host the 2017 Special Olympics.

“With such an exciting year behind us, I am very pleased to confirm that not only are favourite events such as Tramlines and Off the Shelf set to return for another year, but we will also be welcoming the all-new Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon: Sheffield to the city.

“In addition to this, Sheffield is also set to host a brand-new festival of national significance in 2015 – more details of which will be available soon.”

Almost 40 major events are set to run in Sheffield throughout 2015, taking place across the city from the urban environment city centre to parks, theatres and leisure venues.

Getting the year off to an energetic start will be the Tecnifibre British Junior Open squash championships, which runs from Friday, 2 January to Tuesday, 6 January at venues including Abbeydale Squash Club, Hallamshire Squash Club and Fulwood Sports Club.

The event is the most prestigious junior squash competition in the world, and this year will attract more than 400 competitors from 39 different countries.

Several of the current top ranked male and female players in the world have competed at this event over the years and continued to progress into the top flight of the senior level – including Sheffield’s own Nick Matthew, who won the British Junior Open squash championships in 1999, fellow Yorkshireman James Wilstrop who won in 2002.

Throughout February and March, venues including the English Institute of Sport and Ice Sheffield will host sporting events including the British Athletics Indoor Championships and the British Judo Championships.

And those who want to get active themselves can take part in the city’s all-new half marathon which, this year, is being organised by Run for All and will take place on Sunday 12 April.

The brand-new 13.1 mile route will see runners starting in the city centre, before going out via Ecclesall Road and Ringinglow Road into the Peak District, and coming back into the city centre through Dore and Ecclesall Road.

Once again, thousands of snooker fans from across the world will descend on Sheffield for the World Snooker Championships, which will take place at the Crucible Theatre in April and May.

On Bank Holiday Monday, 4 May, Graves Park will host this year’s Highland Fling festival, which will be followed by the May Fayre on Sunday 17 May in Weston Park.

Sheffield’s second annual Holi-One festival will take place on Saturday 6 June in Norfolk Heritage Park, during which thousands of people, dressed in white will cover each other in colourful dust and enjoy music, dance and performance art. For information, or tickets, visit http://www.holione.com/en/events/sheffield.html

The international documentary film festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, returns in early June, bringing hundreds of delegates from across the world to our city and offering residents the opportunity to see world-class documentaries in a number of unusual locations – including the popular outdoor screenings.

Later that month, on Saturday 20 June and Sunday 21 June, the Botanical Gardens will host “Garden Up”, a two-day festival of plants, gardens, wildlife, green technology and the arts. More details are available at www.gardenup.org

July is set to be a month of music of all genres, with Music in the Gardens running at the Botanical Gardens from 2 to 5 July, and the much-loved Tramlines festival making a return from 24 to 26 July, at venues across the city.

The annual Sheffield Fayre will be held on Sunday, 30 August and Monday, 31 August in Norfolk Heritage Park, while the Botanical Gardens will once again play host to Art in the Gardens on Saturday 5 September and Sunday 6 September.

Those that have recovered from the Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon: Sheffield can stretch their legs in the Bupa Great Yorkshire Run 10k on Sunday, 27 September, before relaxing with a good read during the Off the Shelf festival of literature, which will take place in October with an array of well-known authors, critics and media personalities getting involved.

Plans are also in the pipeline for a festival to take place around Halloween time – as well as a Christmas light switch-on event, more details of which will be available in due course.

Cllr Bowler added: “Our city’s huge variety of events and festivals is something of which I am very proud.

“Few cities can boast that they play host to events of such national and international significance year in, year out.

“I would also encourage those who perhaps haven’t been to the likes of Art in the Gardens and Tramlines before to get the dates in their calendars early. You won’t want to miss out.”