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Hands up if you love a good festival… especially when it’s FREE!

On the 9th and 10th of July Hillsborough Park will be completely transformed; bursting with activity and buzzing with Summer festival vibes. Live music, entertainment and art will prevail as a celebration bringing the local community together.

Local business and Sheffield gem; Cupola Contemporary Art Gallery has been open for business for 25 years this year! Owner, curator and probably the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met in my life; Karen Sherwood decided she wanted to thank the community for supporting her business. After discussion with the residents and neighbouring businesses, they decided to push for a large scale ambitious project; “A local event with international reach.”

Keen to put Hillsborough back into a positive light, shining with local talent and community spirit. “The festival aims to show how creativity is essential to ensure a compassionate, energetic, innovative, entrepreneurial and cohesive community”.

Karen and the team have been working so hard behind the scenes, applying for sponsorships, sorting out publicity, designing fabulous posters, networking and compiling a fun filled family friendly programme of events.

On Monday there was a photoshoot for the local press with Karen sporting her glamorous ‘Hillsfest’ T-shirt. Students, artists, my young son in a top hat and tails and even spectacular fire breathers attracted the attention of passers-by, giving a taste of the excitement and diversity of the project.

Karen also presented her proposals for ‘Hillsfest’ at ‘Sheffield Soup’  earlier this week, and congratulations are in order as hers was the winning pitch!

This is how she plans to spend the money raised through the crowd funding;


We will transform the physical appearance of Hillsborough Park via the erection of huge 24 metre inflatable domes, each with an internal capacity of 800 people standing. The festival wished to have themed zones including:

  1. Creativity showcase
  2. Makers activity
  3. Spoken word & film
  4. Sound & movement
  5. Taste

Complementing this will be a separate sound stage:-

  • Bands
  • Music
  • Joviality

Other proposals:-

  • Modular graffiti sculpture – likely to be the height of a terraced house!
  • A sculpture symposium
  • Heritage trails
  • Tours or visits to local places of interest
  • Free interactive outdoor creative activities

Karen and the team need YOUR help to make this happen. As this is a non-profit event with free entry, this project can only thrive with the support of the local community. If you are able to devote some time to  help steward on the day, offer a few hours admin support, help our marketing effort and crowd funding campaign (http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e48eb20ed59dceaa202eefbeb&id=fd70b19ce5), contribute to community engagement and liaison activities, offer goods or services support or advice then please get in contact via their website; http://www.hillsfest.org/get-involved/

On Wednesday 2 March 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm there is the Crowd Funding Launch at DINA 32 Cambridge Street (adjacent to John Lewis) in the city centre, it would be great if you could make it! 

I’m SO excited for this event, it’s definitely  what’s needed Hillsborough needs this summer. See you there!