Photo Credit: Ben Harrison


September rescheduled dates now cancelled due to ongoing Covid 19 issues

The event will now move back to the Springbank Holiday weekend in 2021

Friday 28th – Monday 31st May 2021

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Photo Credit: Matt Crowder


(We are no longer accepting applications for 2020,
please add yourself to our mailing list 
to be part of
next years event)


Please contact us for more information on the following:

I’d like to do a cookery demonstration in the
Theatre Kitchen and / or I’d like to run a kids
cookery workshop or other activity and / or
I’d like to perform at Sheffield Food Festival

Please contact us for more information

Essential Information



We are sorry to inform you that the September rescheduled dates for this years Sheffield Food Festival can’t go ahead due to the ongoing issues relating to Covid 19

Following the recent announcement from the Government on outdoor events being possible again and in continuous consultation with the local council, central government and other officially appointed safety / welfare organisations and groups. We have been looking at the state of play to continue with the plan to run the rescheduled dates for the Sheffield Food Festival event in September 2020.

Sadly after all that research and consultation work and now reading the recent 37 page specific Government Event Operating Guidance Doc for Covid Safety at Events, it is now clearer that we can’t finalise the plans for the event, that it cannot successfully be made to happen without undue health risk and or business deprivation and financial loss. 

Therefore it is with regret we are now having to fully postpone the event to 2021 back to the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend of Friday 28th – Monday 31st May 2021.

There is a whole raft of work and documentation over many weeks that supports this decision having to be made and acted upon, even at this progressive late date in the current lower infection and death rate numbers for an event yet to come in a little over nine weeks time. However we have drilled it down to five core points of explanation for everyone to understand and appreciate and they are as follows: 

Five core issues that prevent the Food Festival going ahead in September 2020 

1. Income and costs. The pre-event income of all trade monies, sponsorships, concessions and all at event bar sales profits have always made the event a break even or small loss business reality model at best and do not cover the additional welfare and support costs caused and required to be covered by Covid 19 restrictions and safety actions in planning and delivery.

 2. The event has always been free to attend and access and exit is possible from multiple open points in the city centre. All events allowed under Covid 19 live state of play dates are required to have controlled entry and exit with track and trace, if the number is greater than 30 x people at one time. It would cost thousands of pounds to set up fenced areas and entrance / exit points with kit hire, staff and ticket systems, this is not a cost that can be covered without causing our company a considerable loss, damage and even potentially insolvency. 

3. The event has seen its attendance figures grow to over 50,000+ over a normal annual event live weekend and all the planning, equipment hire, set up, staffing services, activities and entertainments are carefully costed to fit into the proven incomes raised as a total budget from all sources as detailed in point one above. If due to no events being possible all year, we were to then get a higher number of attendees wishing to come to the September event, we could not safely cover the welfare and duty of care and all extra services, equipment and support staff on a free to attend event with a capped income / costs reality, thus causing major issues and risks at the event. 

4. Social distancing and contact with toilets, furniture, bins and many other aspects of the site set up, that would require additional staff / equipment numbers and a cleaning regime 1,000 x greater than past safe and adequate means and actions, will make it impossible to cover the additional costs and time of use for such site facilities and set ups. Plus we can’t add additional space for queues, crowds and safe social distances even at 1m or slightly lower at the event. 

5. Traders, especially those preparing and cooking food will be required to have a larger pitch set up, more staff and facilities and much more rigorous checks and safety measures to adhere to and this will prevent them maximising sales and service to not only cover normal costs and additional costs for this, but we don’t have any spare space for them to use as additional pitch space area for safe working in. 

This is very frustrating for us, especially as this was the 10th anniversary year event. However we would also incur additional costs for September that can’t be covered, let alone losses that would be uncontrollably damaging to us and all the traders and other concessions who would be part of the live event this year. So we will now offer to roll over the event planning, programming and service bookings to be valid for 2021 instead. 

It’s an honour to plan and produce a great successful popular event, but it’s a legal duty to ensure no one is at unnecessary risk, be that working at or attending the event. 

Thank you for your patience and we hope you continue to support us to now aim for 2021 and the next event. 

Thanks Bob & all the team