Band of Birds bring Sheffield's Outdoor City to the global stage

One of the highliners taking to the Sheffield skyline over the Outdoor City this weekend: Band of Birds 

One of the highliners taking to the Sheffield skyline over the Outdoor City this weekend: Band of Birds 

Last weekend, Sum Studio tenants Band of Birds profiled events that were part of The Outdoor City Weekender to audiences around world, from Austria to Zambia.

Promoters of this year's Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), Band of Birds worked with highliner Sarah Rixham and Creative Sheffield to launch the weekend of events with Sarah walking a 60m long, 125ft high highline, rigged between the two towers of Sheffield Hallam University's Owen Building.

With the Sheffield Star reporting live from the highline, the number of people following the action as it was happened reached 30,000. BBC Radio Sheffield also followed the event live, with community reporter Andy Kershaw narrating on proceedings for the Breakfast Show which reaches 250,000 listeners per week.

You can hear Band of Birds Director, Matt Bird talking to Andy about moving to The Outdoor City here.

Following the release and distribution later that day of filmed footage produced by fellow Sum tenants Coldhouse Collective, by the end of the weekend the ShAFF highline had been viewed over 27,000 times on facebook and was featured across local, regional and national media including the Daily Mirror and the BBC homepage, where audiences spilled into six figures via the website and social media.

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival Director, Matt Heason said:

‘Band of Birds have turned a very exciting idea into a reality. The highline was an amazing spectacle by which audiences to ShAFF, for the first time ever, could witness the spirit of adventure both onscreen and in the flesh.’

High engagement continued throughout the weekend as 36,000 people from over 122 countries tuned in to live coverage of the Climbing Works International Festival. International competitors were a strong pull as well as a new event reporting format, developed by Band of Birds which included expert analysis from a newly assembled studio presenting team and live published insight reports and updates via social media. 

Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council said, Leigh Bramall:

‘It is testament to the amount of local talent that resides in Sheffield that we could make such a success of the first Outdoor City Weekender, and showcase Sheffield and all it has to offer in the way of outdoor adventure to the world.’

For anyone who missed The Outdoor City Weekender, the Climbing Works International Festival can be viewed on replay at and the highline film can be viewed via the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival facebook page.

Matt Bird

MattBirdDog, Sheffield, United Kingdom