Sheffield community festival thinks big

A Sheffield community festival has expanded to become a two-day event in its fifth year.

AmphiFest will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the 1,000-seat amphitheatre above the city’s railway station.

The first day comprises the usual festival, with the second bringing AmphiChill, a line-up of entertainments billed as Sheffield’s ‘first big vintage brunch’, backed with sponsorship by Urban Splash, the firm behind the redevelopment of nearby Park Hill flats.

Previously the free event was held in September, but has moved to attract more young people by boosting the involvement of schools and youth groups.

Saturday’s festivities get under way at midday. Visitors can browse stalls and watch craft demonstrations, and there will also be a host of activities for children, including pony and trap rides, facepainting and print-making. There will also be natural history walks, bike maintenance sessions, and tips on beekeeping.

Sheffield architect Tony Broomhead - known for his designs on the CBBC programme The Dengineers - will be running a free vegetable print workshop.

For those in need of a bite to eat, West Indian curries are set to be served up, as well as traditional afternoon teas and Sheffield-made ice-cream from a Granelli’s van.

A spokeswoman for the Friends of Sheaf Valley Park, the festival’s volunteer organisers, said: “In these days of cuts and austerity it can be a real strain on many parents to give their kids a treat without breaking the bank.

“AmphiFest has always been committed to providing plenty of free activities for kids, relying on the goodwill and generosity of local people and businesses.”

The AmphiChill, from 10am to 5pm, will offer acoustic music, an antiques market and a ‘vintage bike ride’ at 2pm, led by Russell’s Bike Shed. A dog show is happening at 11am and there will be guided tours of Park Hill.

The festival will go ahead rain or shine - a canvas marquee is on standby in case of downpours.