Although it may not be able to replace Glastonbury this year, Peace in the Park- a free day festival at the Ponderosa – returned to the city this year for another amazing day of music, art and food.

Peace in the Park is organised by a team of volunteers, including artists, musicians, students, events organisers and other Sheffield folk. The team work together as a not-for-profit collective. The festival is funded by money raised beforehand as well as donations made on the day. Without this generosity, it wouldn’t be able to happen.

Kinder Kalsi, festival director and volunteer coordinator, said: “We cannot thank all our volunteers enough. They work so hard before, during and after the festival to make sure Peace in the Park can happen every year. Whether it’s designing our posters, stewarding or picking up litter, we’re always in need of an extra pair of hands. If you would like to volunteer next year, or help to organise Peace in the Park, get in touch!”

The festival celebrates the power of peace and the love of humanity, bringing together people of all ages, faiths, genders and ethnicities. It was amazing to see so many people soaking up the summer sunshine and celebrating the diversity and achievements of the people of Sheffield.

The festival had five stages of music showcasing Sheffield’s finest Reggae, Blues, Cabaret, World and local bands. Unfortunately, the much loved dance tent wasn’t around this year, and it was sorely missed. It left a bit of a void when representing Sheffield’s music scene and felt a little bit strange. Especially considering that Sheffield is home to some of the best underground music in the country; despite this there was still something for everyone.

The live music on offer showcased some of Sheffield’s premier bands. Dancing in the blazing sunshine listening to good music, what more could you ask for? (Especially for free!) All of the artists who performed put on a stellar performance to their home crowd. You could really feel the high energy through the carnival vibes.

As a huge fan of reggae, ska, dancehall and bashment, a personal highlight for me had to be the reggae tent. Packed out with people of all ages skanking together to some funky jams, with some of Sheffield’s much loved DJs taking to the decks, including Roots and Dub Shack. We were treated to some brand new music from dub legends Gentleman’s Dub Club, which got the crowd bopping along to the pounding beat. The tunes and the gorgeous weather almost transported you far away from Sheffield’s Ponderosa, as if you could be on a sunny beach in Jamaica.

As well as the music, there was also a Healing Area with workshops on dance and spirituality, completed by a yoga garden. Everyone and anyone is encouraged to take part in these workshops and it’s great to try something new and take a break from the music.

The cabaret tent was another really interesting attraction. Festival goers were able to participate in circus and trapeze workshops and admire performances from pole dancers, belly dancers and circus acts. It was brilliant to watch such skilled entertainers in such an intimate setting and it was obviously inspiring to the other members of the audience too.

There was also a children’s area, stalls and an array of food stalls on offer, including a great selection of vegan food. There was something to cater to everyone’s needs.
If you’re in Sheffield in June 2019 you need to go to Peace in the Park. It was an absolutely amazing day and what makes it even better is that it’s free! (Although I would encourage making a donation to keep this amazing festival alive)

To improve even more it needs to keep growing and expanding and carrying on varying the genres on offer. It would be great if more of Sheffield’s local venues got behind PITP like The Night Kitchen and Hopeworks to integrate the underground music scene back into the festival and make it even more amazing.

If you enjoyed Peace in the Park 2018, you can donate here.

Image: Peace in the Park 

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