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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Sheffield Life, Loss and Death Festival

Wed. 1 May 2024 — Fri. 31 May 2024


"Death is part of life. Let’s talk about it."

This May, the Sheffield Life, Loss and Death Festival is exploring why conversations around life, loss and death matter, with free events across the city and online.

Organised by Compassionate Sheffield, the programme includes workshops, exhibitions, music, discussions, poetry, writing and more – in galleries, community centres, libraries, woods, pubs, and beyond.

Everyone can get involved – whether you’re exploring the topic of death for the first time, wondering how to talk to your children about death and loss, or hoping to reflect on personal or professional experiences.

Death, dying and loss are things we all experience, and yet we often hide away from it. By being more open about the topic in a compassionate way, the festival aims to help people build confidence in how to navigate and support each other through this important part of life.

Read on for our highlights from the programme. And see the full programme for more.

Our picks of the events:

Grief Must be Love with Nowhere to Go
Until 4 May, 12–6pm, Bloc Projects
An art installation from artists Chris Alton and Emily Simpson exploring the experiences and language gaps of grief. With a Grief Karaoke Closing Party on Saturday 4 May, 6–8pm.

The Gifts we Leave Behind
5 May, 2–4pm, SADACCA
A supportive space to bring items and memories that we cherish in grief, to share stories of them and reflect on what we will leave in our place. Led by singer songwriter Yunn.

Pub Philosophy
7 May, 7:30–9:30pm, The Fat Cat
Talk about big ideas in good company – an informal and friendly philosophical enquiry group. Come along have a drink and explore big questions about what death means to being human, with Rosie Carnall.

What’s important to me?
10 May, 10am–12pm, Crystal Peaks Library Art Space
A workshop to reflect on what‘s most important in life and death. Expressing how you feel through collage, painting or drawing.

Creating Through Grief
16 May, 1:30–3:30pm, SOAR
Join creative facilitator Grace Darbyshire for an immersive workshop using arts activities, poetry and gentle drama exercises to navigate grief, loss, and remembrance.

​Open Mic Night
17 May, 7–9pm, Common Ground Community Centre
Come share your words, poetry and music at this family-friendly event themed around life, loss and death. Hosted by singer-songwriter Yunn. Or simply come along and listen.

Grief Writing Workshop
19 May, 1:30–4pm, The Writers Workshop
Writing often provides solace for people in times of great loss, and the sharing of that writing aids the healing process and helps to normalise an experience that can often feel taboo. Join Beverley Ward to write about grief and learn more about Sheffield's Grief Writers Workshop.

Family Rhyme Time: Create a Poem
26 May, 10:30–11:30am, The Pavilion, Hillsborough Park
During half term, at this family poetry workshop children can create a poem about their loved ones past and present with poet Sharena Lee Satti.

A Tour of City Road Cemetery
28 May, 5:30–8pm
Join Robert Sawrbrick and Michael Kerrigan from Sheffield City Council Bereavement Service for a tour of the cemetery, chapel and crematorium. Learn about the history of City Road Cemetery and how the site is used today.

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Rob Lee

A graphic artist whose large-scale geometric murals invite interaction and inject a shot of vibrancy into the city.

Rock N Roll Circus

Thu. 29 August 2024 — Sat. 31 August 2024

Don Valley Bowl, S9 2DF

Roll up, roll up! Part music festival, part circus, the Rock N Roll Circus is coming back to town. With headliners Richard Hawley, Becky Hill and Milburn. Plus aerialists, stilt walkers, fortune tellers and more.

Seeing Beauty: Mindful Photography in Natural Landscapes with Jess Petrie

Sat. 10 August 2024

Connect with nature through the lens of your camera in this enchanting day of mindful exploration and creative vision. Led by photographer Jess Petrie in the landscape of Sheffield Manor Lodge.