Record turnout for city’s ‘Proms’

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It’s billed as Sheffield’s answer to the Last Night of the Proms.

And so many people turned out on a beautiful summer’s evening for the climax of Music in the Gardens on Saturday that some had to be turned away.

The series of concerts organised by the Rotary Clubs of South Yorkshire in the Botanical Gardens ended with performances by Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra and Dodworth Colliery Band - and the traditional bout of flag waving and fireworks.

The capacity of the gardens is about 3,000, but the number of picnics cut it down on this occasion to about 2,500.

“We had to turn a few away,” said event organiser Carly Whitfield. “It would have been disappointing for them because they would not have got a good view and heard it very well.”

It was a record turnout for the night of classical favourites, and the weather was in keeping with the previous three nights, in stark contrast to the deluges of last year.

Organisers were this week totting up the proceeds for local charities. Saturday’s closing show was in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

This year’s series, the eighth, started with Bruce Foxton’s band, From The Jam, followed by award-winning folk band Bellowhead and a ‘salsa spectacular’ with Omar Puente.

“We are really pleased,” said Carly. “The weather definitely helped. We were trying to appeal to different audiences with different genres of music.”