Sheffield will showcase the strength and breadth of its outdoor communities with a new major UK festival, taking place in March 2019. The Festival of the Outdoors will be a month long celebration of Sheffield’s vibrant outdoor communities, promoting fun, adventure and participation for all.
Organisers from across the city’s outdoor groups, clubs and businesses are coming together to offer a unique programme, which will give everyone the chance to take part in variety of events, from climbing, mountain biking and trail running to urban caving and conservation.
The Festival of the Outdoors was born out of The Outdoor City Weekender, having exploded out of the original three day event programme.
Favourites from The Outdoor City Weekender will return, including the inner-city Howard Street Dual, The Magnificent Seven hill climb challenge, Rab Climbing Works International Festival, The Big Running Weekend and the 14th annual Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
The Festival also promotes Sheffield’s unique location, with 1/3 of the city being inside the Peak District National Park, and its topography built on seven hills, making for a wealth of outdoor experiences from climbing, mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and running.
Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment said: “Sheffield has a unique proposition for outdoor recreation, so it stands to reason that city has a really strong outdoor community to go with that. It’s the outdoor community that truly makes us The Outdoor City, so we want to celebrate that by sharing all the great events on offer and by inviting more and more people to be part of it. Whether you live in the city or you’re visitor to Sheffield, we invite you to come join us.”
Marc Etches, organiser of The Magnificent Seven, said: “We’re now going into the fourth running of The Magnificent Seven and it continues to grow in popularity each year. The Weekender has always given us a valuable platform to promote this unique cycling event and the Festival of the Outdoors can only take this to the next level, so it’s fantastic for us to be part of this. We can’t wait to see all the spectators back out on the streets of Sheffield showing their support to the riders.”
Graeme Alderson, owner of the Climbing Works and organiser of the Climbing Works International Festival said:
“We’re really excited for this year’s Rab CWIF, and that as a wider community we have so much happening that it spreads over a month. In addition to our flagship event, we’ll have some other smaller events and announcements across March to add to the festival too, but we can’t wait to kick it all off on 2 March.”
Stuart Hale, owner of running store Accelerate and organiser of The Big Running Weekend said: “The Big Running Weekend has something to offer for everyone no matter what level of runner you consider yourself to be, and we have a fantastic running community taking the lead on the sessions we are offering across the weekend – it just wouldn’t happen without their dedication and enthusiasm! So we are very excited to be an integral part of The Festival of the Outdoors, celebrating all that is great about being outside.”
Full details of The Festival of the Outdoors event programme will be released over the next few weeks. In addition to the varied programme of outdoor activities the festival will also celebrate some of the fantastic cultural events taking place in March, showcasing Sheffield’s unique offer as the leading destination for both outdoor adventure and cultural vibrancy.