August 4th & 5th.
Don Valley Bowl.

Sheftival is a new festival of sport, music and culture launching next month to coincide with the Olympics. Located at Don Valley Bowl, the two-day event will celebrate Sheffield's own Jessica Ennis competing for a medal, as well as the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. Expected to attract somewhere in the region of 50,000 punters, Sheftival will bring together different communities within the city, as well as sport and music-loving people from further afield.

The not-for-profit festival is hosted by Sheffield International Venues (SIV) and will offer a range of community sporting events and over 20 sports skills demonstrations that you can get involved in, as well as a 48 square metre screen showing the Olympics coverage, so you can cheer on Ennis, Bolt et al with thousands of others.

But if the Olympics aren't your thing then don't stop reading, because an impressive range of musical acts will appear across a number of stages as well. Hosted by Real Radio, Tramlines, JuJu Club and the Sharrow Family Village, live music will come courtesy of the likes of Toots & The Maytals, The Lightning Seeds, Macka B, The Beat, Dodgy, The Crookes, Jungle Lion, Renegade Brass Band, Blood Sport and many more, while carnival and family entertainment will be provided at the Sharrow Festival Family Area, impromptu gigs will take place on the Busker's Barge, and the city's leading club nights will keep the energy up in the Monkey Bump Dance Tent. There will also be a variety of tasty food stuffs on offer, including the eternally popular Jamaican jerk chicken.

So whether you have Olympic fever or want to try and escape the games, Sheftival is a good option either way. Tickets are priced at £12 per day for adults and a tenner for under 18s. A family of four can go for Saturday or Sunday for just £40, or £70 for both. Visit for more info.

Independents Day.

4th July.
Devonshire Quarter.

On the 4th of this month, the Devonshire Quarter Retail Group will run a local promotional campaign called Independents Day - We Are Not A Chain.

The group has been set up by Sheffield City Council to find new ways of bringing trade to this illustrious retail area and promoting its unique charms, and one of its first moves will be to offer discounts to visiting shoppers. The idea is simple: you bring a voucher from any nationwide shop or chain, and participating independent shops will try to match or beat the offer. It's up the manager in question to approve any offer, but all shops taking part will of course do their best to give you a stellar deal that will bring you back in the future. Look out for posters in the windows of participating shops on Wednesday 4th July. Buskers have also been invited to play in the street and in some stores.

This campaign is part of Independents Day - Retail Rehab, a national campaign led by BBC2's Mary Portas to encourage more people to be proactive in supporting independent businesses rather than spending their money on the corporate high street.

Obviously the subject of independent trade is very close to our hearts at Now Then; the magazine is funded entirely by advertising from local businesses, charities and local government. I'm sure we don't have to go on about the importance of supporting local businesses and reinvesting in your local economy, so instead we'll direct you to this quote by Anna Lappé:

"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."

Cheap Thrills Film Festival.

15th September.

After the success of the one-off Cheap Thrills Zero Film Festival in Burngreave last year, the organisers are bringing the event back as a regular occurrence in the city, which if you ask us is great news.

The ethos behind Cheap Thrills is to encourage people who have never made a film before to give it a shot. The rules are simple: keep it family-friendly, keep it under eight minutes long, keep it cheap. And by cheap, we mean as close to zero budget as possible. Participants will not be judged on the quality of their equipment but on the originality of their concept. There will be a parent and child one-day workshop too, so if you are an editor who is able to offer their services, get in touch on the above website.


106 Devonshire Street.

A couple of months back a new charity shop opened up in the city centre. Sandwiched between Starbucks and Greggs on Devonshire Street, the new Mind shop is already packed with huge amounts of stock, from vintage and retro garments, clothing for ladies, gents and kids, accessories, shoes, jewellery and much more.

Sheffield Mind is one of the city's leading providers of mental health and wellbeing services. It makes no sense that mental health still carries such a stigma, given that it affects around a quarter of people at some point in their lives, but Mind is taking steps to change that. A worthy cause, we're sure you'll agree, and you might just bag yourself a bargain.


Until 15th July.

You may have spotted ping pong tables cropping up all over Sheffield in the last couple of weeks. In fact, there are 40 tables, complete with bats and balls, placed across the city by Ping! for your pleasure. They are free to use and will be available until 15th July, and all kinds of passers-by have already been getting involved.

Visit the Ping! Sheffield website and put in your postcode to see the 10 closest tables to you, or download a map of all locations. If you've got the bug and fancy a game after the 15th, visit the English Table Tennis Association website and put in your postcode for a directory of all things ping pong in your area.


0114 2536785.

Roundabout is a charity that provides shelter, advice and support to the homeless young people of Sheffield. They run an emergency direct access hostel just off London Road and also help those who are not used to independent living to adapt through their dispersed housing scheme.

Operative since 1977, Roundabout provides key workers for each of its clients, giving them an open avenue of communication with the organisation. The charity also places a deal of emphasis on life skills and participation training, equipping young people with the practical skills and confidence to help them become part of their local community and prepare for their future.

Party for the People.

Party for the People is a new not-for-profit organisation based down at the Creative Arts Development Space (CADS) down in Shalesmoor. The idea is simple: to raise money for existing children's charities through gigs and events, and have a great time in the process.

Many of us attend musical happenings in Sheffield on a weekly or fortnightly basis, so it seems only fair that we try and raise some money for young people less fortunate than ourselves by topping up our door tax with a small donation.

Party for the People is currently looking for like-minded promoters and organisations who want to get involved in this thoroughly worthwhile project. Get in touch with them via Facebook or Twitter.

Wandering Duck.

We recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely couple behind an ace new concept in canal boat breaks known as Wandering Duck. Mark and Ruth have taken the rustic ideals of backpacking and married them with the delightfully relaxed world of the English waterways of Derbyshire and south Manchester.

"We've taken the hassle out of hiring your own boat and added a few luxuries. The showers are hot and powerful, there's a hand-pump serving real ale, an acoustic guitar to help yourself to, and real coffee. Our concept is totally new, but we're pretty sure that moving scenery, music, real ale, and a sort of posh-camping, are a mix that plenty of people will be in to. We hope so."

You can book as a group, charter your own trip or book alone to meet new people. For more info and to get a wee discount on your first trip, check out their website and use the promotional code 'alright-duck'