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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Migration Matters

In 2007 Sheffield became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary – a place that welcomes asylum-seekers and refugees, that offers a hand to people in need of safety. Over Refugee Week and the weekend running up to it, join in a celebration of diversity in the city with the Migration Matters theatre and arts festival.

From 14 to 22 June, the festival will champion Sheffield artists – those who were born here and those who now call it home. The programme includes everything from poetry to performance, via puppetry, music, footie, food and film screenings. It joins in wider conversations surrounding Refugee Week, exploring the impact of refugees on the country at the same time as shining a spotlight on Sheffield's creativity, diversity and vibrancy.

Venues for this year's festival include Theatre Deli, DINA, Abbeydale Picture House, Showroom, Foodhall, and the Crucible.

See highlights from the Migration Matters 2019 programme below.

Made in Spain

Wed. 19 June 2019

Cellar Theatre

An evening of foot stomping comedy with Sonia Aste, a Spaniard living in the UK who believes "cultural differences are like Sangria – a mix that leaves a headache, but we always ask for more."

Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble

Wed. 19 June 2019

Abbeydale Picture House

All Because of Love is a new production bringing the poetry of Persia’s beloved mystic poet Rumi to life in the magificent Picture House – with hauntingly beautiful Sufi music, dance and poetry.

Plates: Issues, Activism And Action

Wed. 19 June 2019


An evening of talks and discussion about the politics of migration and what you can do to help end the violence done to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. And, of course, food.

The Gift

Thu. 20 June 2019

Crucible Theatre

A shadow puppetry performance featuring traditional classical Arabic, Persian, Iraqi, Egyptian, and Indian music.

You, Me and Those Who Came Before

Thu. 20 June 2019

Theatre Deli

A celebration of the rich and vibrant lives of migrants in Sheffield and around the world.


Thu. 20 June 2019

Abbeydale Picture House

A performance from internationally acclaimed activist and rapper Lowkey, followed by a talk on music, politics and global justice.

Home is not the Place

Fri. 21 June 2019

Theatre Deli

A solo show by Annie George, telling an intimate story of personal and political independence.

Benjamin Zephaniah & The Revolutionary Minds

Fri. 21 June 2019

The Leadmill

An evening of reggae-poetry from one of the greatest poets of his generation, strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls “street politics”. With support from Sheffield’s first poet laureate Otis Mensah.

Storytelling Workshop

Fri. 21 June 2019

Theatre Deli

Alim Kamara brings the campfire to the stage. Gather round!

Stories Of Sanctuary

Sat. 22 June 2019

Theatre Deli

An evening of songs by people seeking sanctuary in County Durham, coming to Sheffield on tour.

The Past in the Present

Sat. 22 June 2019


Short films by three Palestinian filmmakers in different locations, looking at different points in time. On the 1929 launch of the Palestinian women's movement, children's lives/dreams in the West Bank, and the history of photography in Gaza.

Daylight Come

Multiple dates

The Library Theatre

A story from the Windrush generation – revealing the racial prejudice faced by people who responded to the government's calls to come and rebuild postwar Britain, alongside the lived experiences of love, laughter and the music of the 1950s.

Barang! with Nídia

Fri. 21 June 2019 — Sat. 22 June 2019


A night of global adventures in bass, welcoming to town Nídia all the way from Lisbon.


Mon. 17 June 2019 — Sat. 22 June 2019

Theatre Deli

A showcase of work by three artists from different countries, backgrounds, cultures and religions, exploring how they overcome barriers through their work.

Love From Syria

Sat. 15 June 2019 — Sat. 22 June 2019

Theatre Deli

An innovative audio adventure created by Syrian refugee families in Bedford and singer-composer Roshi Nasehi.


Sat. 15 June 2019 — Sat. 22 June 2019

Theatre Deli

A series of images by Nadjet Ben Maghnia capturing different parts of Algeria, born from curiosity and nostalgia for the artist's motherland.

Parson Cross Community Celebration

Sat. 22 June 2019

Parson Cross Library, 320 Wordsworth Avenue, S5 8NL

An afternoon of art, crafts, music and food, celebrating the community of Parson Cross.

Beam Me Upperthorpe!

Wed. 19 June 2019 — Sat. 22 June 2019

Zest Centre, 18 Upperthorpe, S6 3NA

Build satellites, track spaceships, and have a close encounter with an alien race in this interactive family adventure created by Paperfinch Theatre and the young people of Zest Centre.