Sheffield 2019: The best bits

Ah, the final weeks of 2019 – and what a year it’s been, eh? From banging festivals to fantastic theatre, we round up our Steel City highlights from the last 12 months.

Chic join the Tramlines party
Featuring the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Courteeners, Jonny Marr, Lewis Capaldi, Annie Mac and plenty more, the 11th instalment of our inner-city music festival was one of the biggest bashes yet. From the city centre fringe stages to the main arena in Hillsborough Park, the weekend was another resounding success. There were plenty of highlights to pick out, but Nile Rodgers & Chic taking to the main stage on Sunday afternoon and leading 40,000 festivalgoers into an en-masse disco party pinches top spot.

Image: Giles Smith

Walking with Giants
Over 12,000 people formed four hour queues to see Phlegm’s hometown show, Mausoleum of Giants, based in Eyewitness Works this spring. For six weeks visitors paid their respects, walking amongst the sleeping giants and figures in their final resting place. The spectacle drew sight-seers from as far as New York and Norway and visitors drove from Plymouth and Dundee just for the opening night.

Kommune arrives
Situated in what was the old Co-op department store on Angel Street, Kommune’s spacious city centre food hall featuring a wide variety of independent retailers opened in March. It was since been heralded as an important step in the ongoing regeneration of the Castlegate area.

Island Livin’
Kelham Island just keeps going from strength to strength, and with the arrival of more living quarters came a slew of new bars and cafes to keep the locals entertained. Noosa have brought their own twist to the brunch and cocktails scene, Millowners Arms are a welcome addition to a number of traditional pubs in the area and Saw Grinders Union have beautifully restored a derelict section of the historic Globe Works.

Everybody’s Talking about Jamie
The hit musical premiered at the Crucible in 2017, took itself to the West End and was nominated for five Olivier Awards. Everybody’s talking about Jamie returned to Sheffield this summer to shoot the film adaptation, starring Max Hardwood and Richard E. Grant. The shoot kept everybody talking in Sheffield; there was an open casting call for the lead actor, an announcement of a National Tour and a massive street party to film the final scene.

No Bounds Festival
Hope Works hosted the No Bounds in October, a live music event which explored club culture, art, technology and brought an electronic music festival to the Sheffield scene. Local talent was represented with Stevie Cox, Otis Mensah, Tino and 96 Back, along with international names such as Shygirl and The Black Madonna. Kelham Island Museum was taken over as an art space for the weekend and Heeley swimming pool became a submerged ambient light show.

Image: Eddy Maynard

Rising from the Ashes
During the summer, Sheffield city council agreed a 150-year lease with Extreme Destinations for an ‘internationally recognised’ sport and leisure destination at the old ski village site at Parkwood Springs. The ambitious plans will see the destination ‘rival the best in the world’, bring 400 new jobs and one million new visitors to Sheffield. The 21-hectare site, with Extreme at the helm, will be developed into a modern ski slope, numerous mountain biking trails, a hub building with shops, bars and restaurants as well as visitor accommodation, alongside a major international operator.

Over 180 international documentary films from 47 different countries, plus an innovative alternative realities programme, live music events, talks, panels, and a fair few parties too! Doc/Fest 2019 was another epic celebration of filmmaking, opened in style by Diego Maradona, Asif Kapadia’s critically acclaimed study of a football genius.

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