WOW returns to Rotherham for its second year

10 May 2023

Blog Post

WOW is back for its second year in Rotherham! Taking place on Saturday 10 June, this year's free festival will be spread across All Saint’s Square, Minster Gardens, various venues on High Street and Imperial Buildings, featuring creative workshops, performances, talks, and music.

Last year’s inaugural festival was a riot of colour, conversation and culture, and planning is well underway for 2023. The stage has been set for an even bigger, better and more connected event this year, enticing folk around the town centre businesses and venues. You'll be able to get involved in discussions about some of the most pressing issues impacting gender equality, such as parenting and childcare, work and skills, diversity and a warm welcome, body positivity, safety, gender identity and sexuality, and mental health and wellbeing. There will be conversations and ways to get involved all day, with pockets of joy and inspiration for all ages. Throughout the day there will be an art trail featuring various outdoor performances as well as the world’s first mobile poetry in a burger van, acrobatic theatre performers, Compact Disco and Bootworks Theatre Company

Tasked with bringing people together is Community Producer Noor Salih, who has been working alongside community groups and independent businesses to create a festival Rotherham can be proud of. WOW Rotherham has also seen a team of trainee festival makers aged between 16-25 get involved as part of the WOWsers programme which aims to help tackle the challenges of gender inequality through arts and creative careers.

Speaking about the festival, Helen Jones from Flux Rotherham said, "We are thrilled to bring back the WOW Festival to Rotherham for the second year running. It's an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate the contributions of women across different fields and encourage meaningful conversations around the issues that affect them. We invite everyone to come along, participate in the activities, and have a great time."

Jude Kelly CBE, CEO and Founder of The WOW Foundation said: “2022's WOW Rotherham was packed with energy, creativity and community – we're thrilled it's returning this summer; this time taking over the town centre creating an even greater impact in the town and offering more people the chance to experience WOW.

"It's an exciting time for Rotherham as it gears up to become the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture in 2025, creating a landmark year for the South Yorkshire borough. It's imperative that young people's voices are at the heart of the vital conversations WOW has around the world, so we're honoured that the WOW Festival will be part of a programme of Children's Capital of Culture taster events in the lead up to 2025.”

Children’s Capital of Culture Programme Manager, Sarah Christie, explains: “Our Children’s Capital of Culture trainees are bringing their own unique take on WOW Rotherham this summer, co-curating a series of WOWsers events they will deliver at the festival. It’s a place for young people’s voices to be heard, and that’s what Rotherham becoming Children’s Capital of Culture is all about. We’re excited to bring it to life.”

For more information about WOW Festival, please visit their website here.