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British Bouldering Championships at Cliffhanger 2016
British Bouldering Championships at Cliffhanger 2016

Final countdown to weekend of adventure

6 July 2017

With live music, refreshments and fun for all the family, this year’s Cliffhanger festival is set to get underway tomorrow evening (Friday 7 July), from 5pm in Devonshire Green.

Cliffhanger, sponsored by the Sheffield BID (Business Improvement District) and billed as Sheffield’s inner city festival dedicated to celebrating the outdoors, will be held across locations including the Peace Gardens, Tudor Square, Millennium Square and the Winter Garden this weekend.

The main attraction will be the British Bouldering Championships, where the nation’s strongest boulderers will battle it out on a purpose-build bouldering wall in Devonshire Green.

Other activities will include free-falling onto a giant airbag outside the Town Hall, whizzing across Barker’s Pool on a zip line and sprinting on a British Athletics running track in Tudor Square

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m looking forward to another fun-filled active Cliffhanger weekend, after the undoubted success of last year’s move to the city centre.

“It was great to see so many more people coming to the festival last year. The city centre location and the removal of an admission fee brought thousands more people to the event, including more young people, students, and those who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have thought to try out activities such as bouldering, slacklining or skateboarding.

“The location also fits perfectly with Sheffield’s status as The Outdoor City and our reputation as the UK’s leading destination for people seeking that unique combination of outdoor adventure and city centre culture.”

Cliffhanger begins from 5pm tomorrow (5pm) in Devonshire Green, with live music, a bar and refreshments. The main festival then runs across the city centre from 10am onwards on Saturday and Sunday.

Devonshire Green will be the main hub of attraction, with various have-a-go activities including climbing, parkour and orienteering – as well as the British Bouldering Championships.

The pivotal event of every boulderer’s calendar since 1998, the British Bouldering Championships forms the national championships in the UK. It’s free to watch and the competition wall will be surrounded by food and drink stalls and other attractions.

Qualifiers will be held on Saturday 8 July, while the semi-finals and finals will take place on Sunday 9 July.

In Barker’s Pool, Sheffield Skateboard School will show off their moves on both Saturday and Sunday, while British Cycling will bring a range of activities.

In the Winter Garden – a welcome oasis of calm – families can learn more about Sheffield’s wildlife and green spaces with the Friends of the Peak District, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust, and also try out and yoga.

Then, in the Peace Gardens, there will be a host of activities such as scuba diving, a Tough Guy assault circuit, an inflatable obstacle course from the Scouts, and a BMX roadshow.

The Cavendish Cancer Care Urban Challenge, meanwhile, on Sunday 9 July, involves a 2km run, a 1km bike sprint and a 12-floor stair climb, before an adrenaline-fuelled abseil down Sheffield Hallam University’s Owen Building.

Craft beer fans may want to try the limited edition Cliffhanger Pale ale, being served up at True North Brew Co in Eldon Street, adjacent to Devonshire Green. The bar will be open from 5pm to 11pm on Friday 7 July and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturday 8 July and Sunday 9 July.

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID manager, said: “Sheffield BID is pleased to be support Cliffhanger for the second consecutive year. Events are essential in creating energy in a city and Cliffhanger is one of the city’s most exciting outdoor events.

“We know from our experience last year that Cliffhanger helped increase footfall, encouraged dwell time and drove additional trade into our local businesses during a typically quieter trading period.

“Once again, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate to visitors what Sheffield City Centre can offer – a great leisure destination, independent and high street retailers, a wide choice of eateries and bars and entertainment venues.

“One of the BID’s objectives is to make the city centre feel busier, increasing visitor numbers, promoting a vibrant destination whilst supporting economic development. Cliffhanger is an excellent example of events that help deliver this objective.

“It was investment from Sheffield BID that secured the city centre as a location for Cliffhanger last year and we’re delighted that it’s returning for a second year for what is becoming a popular date in the city’s event calendar.

“With so many amazing things happening over the Cliffhanger weekend it truly is a must see for residents and visitors nationwide.”

As well as the City Centre BID, current sponsors of Cliffhanger include the University of Derby.

Admission is free.