Sheffield has firmly established itself as the heart of culture in Yorkshire. From its assembly line of top musical talents, to live theatre, festivals, big-name comics, the Snooker World Championships and, of course, its two football teams, Sheffield is vying for the crown of the North’s cultural hub.
Entertainment in Sheffield
As befits a city that gave the world The Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and The Human League, the city has a live music scene to get excited about.
Held every July, Tramlines is the largest music festival in the area, hosting over 100,000 fans across three parks in the city. Recent guests included The Libertines, Primal Scream and All Saints and a host of upcoming talent, with one ticket valid for all five open-air stages across the city.
Bringing together the music, art, film and live performance scenes, week-long festival Sensoria is held every autumn and hosts live performances, installations, talks and Q&A sessions across the city. With a handy app and a daring, risk-taking attitude towards bookings, the festival will be celebrating its 10th birthday in 2018, an impressive milestone.
Billed as Yorkshire’s music centre, Sheffield City Hall hosts a wide range of acts and bands, including retro pop stars Cliff Richard and Chris Rea, as well as more alternative shows like The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. If you’re looking for more contemporary acts, then head to the 2,350 capacity O2 Academy, a five-minute walk from our Angel Street hotel. Recent guests have included pop group Scouting for Girls, ’90s Britpop stars Shed Seven, as well as tribute acts Antarctic Monkeys and The Doors Alive.
The Killers, The Stone Roses, Kings of Leon, Coldplay and local legends the Arctic Monkeys are just some of the names to have graced The Leadmillover the years. A large part of Sheffield’s live music scene since opening in 1980, it’s just a 15-minute walk from our St Marys Gate hotel and hosts everything from pop club nights to comedy shows alongside regular live gigs.
The Crucible Theatre
With over a dozen theatres spread across the city, Sheffield takes its stagecraft very seriously.
Just half a mile from our Angel Street hotel is the UK’s second largest theatre network. Here you’ll find Sheffield Theatres, a three-stage complex that includes The Crucible Theatre, the world-famous arena that hosts the World Snooker Championship every year alongside shows from comics, pantomimes and touring productions.
Reopened after a £12 million renovation in 1991, the stunning 1,068-seat Lyceum Theatre also falls under the Sheffield Theatres umbrella and has embraced a diverse range of programming, including ballet, opera, musicals and West End hits. A traditional arch theatre designed by WGR Sprague, it’s hosted stage versions of The Kite Runner, Legally Blonde, and My Fair Lady.
One of the smallest theatres with only 84 seats, the Lantern Theatre is also the oldest, having opened in 1893. It now houses small and mid-scale theatre, music and comedy, and has strong links with the local community and young performers.
Built in 1934 and originally designed as a lecture hall, Sheffield Library Theatre has developed into a theatre all-rounder, hosting everything from classical music, rock concerts, magic shows, stand-up comedy, pantomime, folk music and more.
A sport-mad city, Sheffield can boast a rich and diverse history going back over a century across football, rugby league and snooker.
A sleeping giant, Sheffield Wednesday are one of the oldest football clubs in the world and have a long and illustrious history in English football. Nicknamed The Owls, to date they’ve won nine major pieces of silverware including four league titles and three FA Cups.
Almost as old, but not quite as successful, Sheffield United have been operating since 1889 and last won the FA Cup in 1925. Close rivals with Sheffield Wednesday, they contest the Steel City derby twice a year at the moment as part of the Championship. No description of Sheffield’s sporting history would be complete without mentioning the Crucible Theatre which has hosted the snooker World Championships every year since 1977. Despite a capacity of nearly 1,000, its clever design means that no spectator is ever more than 20m from the action.
Over on the ice, the Sheffield Steelers are one of the most successful British ice hockey teams and play in front of nearly 13,000 fans at their home games. Rugby league fans can cheer on the second-tier Sheffield Eagles, speedway fans can support the Tigers, while the city can be proud of no fewer than six boxing world champions, punching well above its weight.
With a host of suitable venues, both big and small, opera is regularly on the cultural menu in Sheffield.
Regular touring shows are held at the Sheffield Theatres complex, including several Puccini and Mozart works. Sheffield City Hall is another popular venue, with shows including Madama Butterfly, and Verdi’s La Traviata.
A bustling, action-packed city, Sheffield has some of the finest shows, events and parties in Yorkshire.
Shake hands with Dr Who, duel with Darth Maul or geek out at your favourite Game of Thrones star – the annual Comic Con is the perfect place to get your TV, film and comic kicks. Held every August at the FlyDSA Arena, the two-day affair mixes interactive panels, photo and autograph sessions and more TV and film memorabilia than you could shake a Polaroid at.
Almost a decade old, Sheffield’s LGBT community comes out in force at the end of every July to celebrate at Sheffield Pride. With free entry and no age restrictions, it’s one of the biggest parties in a city known for throwing parties, with bands, DJs, street food, choirs, cabaret and burlesque performances and market stalls on offer during the day and a more riotous after-party from sunset onwards.
Reputed to be Britain’s biggest Halloween party, Fright Night takes over much of inner-city Sheffield, hosting an assortment of spooky experiences, haunted houses and fairground rides, as well as street food, entertainers and street artists. In busy years, over 30,000 ghouls and ghosts descend on the city looking for their share of treats, so plan your travel arrangements well in advance.
From local legends to touring international comics, Sheffield has all it takes to tickle your funny bones.
The longest-running comedy club in Yorkshire, Last Laugh takes place every Friday and Saturday night at the Memorial Hall in the centre of Sheffield. Book tickets on the balcony for the best views, stock up on the two-pint jugs to beat bar queues and enjoy the work of their resident compère Toby Foster, said by regulars to be the real star of the show.
If you like to chuckle in anonymity, then head to the Sheffield FlyDSA Arena, where touring shows like Mrs Brown’s Boys and Michael McIntyre pack in thousands of comedy fans, so you’re less likely to be the butt of the comic’s joke!