top of page
SPARKS_Patterns (5).png
An intergenerational festival celebrating the sixties, protest and people power
FREE Virtual Festival 
13-16 May 2021

8.30PM:The King Mojo: Presented by Dirty Stop Outs

The King Mojo – a teenage club opened in 1964 by the city-born entrepreneur Peter Stringfellow and his brother Geoff – attracted early performances from acts like Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Pink Floyd.


Join us as we relive the magic of 555 Pitsmoor Road, with a setlist of tunes selected by former clubbers, and photographs presented by Neil Anderson, author of Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1960s Sheffield.

7.15PM: Songs of Revolution

Launching our festival with the radical spirit that epitomized the 1960s, we present a cabaret of local musicians performing some of the decade’s greatest protest songs from both sides of the Atlantic. Hosted by Sheffield musician Brian Clark.


7PM: Opening Celebration

We take a look at the weekend ahead, with a sneak peek of the upcoming events and a few words from the artists and creators that have made the festival happen.

8.30PM: The Esquire: Presented by Dirty Stop Outs

The Esquire, on Leadmill Road, was a launchpad for many of Sheffield’s rising stars of the 1960s - from Joe Cocker to Jimmy Crawford to Dave Berry. Founded by Terry Thornton, and influenced by the rock’n’roll and blues scenes, the venue still stands today, becoming The Leadmill in the 1980s.


Join us on the virtual dancefloor as we recreate the music of the club, with a setlist of tunes curated by former clubbers, and photographs presented by Neil Anderson, author of Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1960s Sheffield.

7PM: The Sheffield Sixties Quiz Show

Join us for a fun and friendly game show, broadcast live from Sheffield, capturing the Showbiz glitz of Take Your Pick or Double Your Money. Will you win a bottle of Babycham?

5.30PM: Misbehavin’: An Evening with Jenny Fortune

Jenny Fortune, leading figure in the British Women’s Liberation movement and co-author of Misbehaving: Stories of protest against the Miss World contest and the beauty industry joins us for an interview. Hosted by Sheffield writer and activist Sue Beardon, we explore the creativity, imagination and anger of feminism in the 60s, and hear how the Women’s Lib movement pulled off their infamous stage invasion of the Miss World contest in 1970.

The event will be followed by a live Q&A, with audience-submitted questions.

3PM: Poetry Workshop

From The Liverpool Poets, to Philip Larkin, to Maya Angelou, the sixties was an electric time for poetry. Write your own poetry guided by a professional Sheffield poet in this online workshop - with a chance to share your creations later in the festival.

7PM: Sounds of the Sixties

Get on the dancefloor as our live band authentically recreating the sounds & style of the Swinging Sixties - specially recorded for the Talking About Our Generation festival.


We’ll take the audience on a journey through the decade that brought us The British Invasion, Beatlemania, Mods & Rockers & the Psychedelic ”summer of love” -  amongst many others.

5.30PM: Curry Cookalong

Presented by Migration Matters Festival

Due to the migration from across the commonwealth, and across the world, the sixties was the era when British cuisine went truly international - albeit limited to Chinese and Indian restaurants. We invite you to a live cookalong with a professional chef, recreating an iconic sixties dish.

Click here to sign-up and download the ingredients list

5.30PM: Closing Event: A Sheffield Happening

‘Happenings’ were lively events of art, poetry, music and performance, and a staple of the London avant-garde art scene in venues such as the Covent Garden Arts Lab. We celebrate the end of our weekend’s events with a final showcase of creativity - get in touch if you’d like to contribute.

3PM: Sixties Dancing Workshop

Presented by Yorkshire Dance.
Are you ready to twist again? Get your dancing shoes on and join our online dance workshop, suitable for all ages and abilities. No experience required - just a song in your heart and swing in your soul. So come on, come on, do the locomotion with us!


Friday 14th May, 1.30pm: Talking About…Protest
The first of three informal discussions, where everyone who turns up can add their voice. We explore what “protest” means to us, from boycotts and demonstrations to tiny acts of teenage rebellion, like haircuts and fashion.

Saturday 15th May, 1.30pm: Talking About… Art & Culture
The second of our discussion events, where everyone who turns up can add their voice. The sixties was a time of great cultural revolution - the introduction of colour television, to the proliferation of girls’ magazines. We’ll talk about what we watched - the moon landing and Harold Wilson being interviewed by the Beatles - and the things we read - from Catch 22, to Lady Chatterley’s Lover, to Slaughterhouse-Five. 

We explore what “protest” means to us, from boycotts and demonstrations to tiny acts of teenage rebellion, like haircuts and fashion.

Sunday 16th May, 1.30pm: Talking About…Our Generation
we invite you to an open discussion where you can bring up about anything you like - including the events of the festival so far.




If You Remember The Sixties (You Weren’t There): A Video Portrait Exhibition
Presented by the Sheffield U3A Video Group.

The Sheffield U3A Video Group present an exhibition of talking heads; a series of memories that are at once entertaining, nostalgic and profound. From politics to fashion to music, take a stroll down a virtual memory lane.
Serenade & Symphony: An Audio Tour of the Sheffield Sixties Music Scene

Compiled by local musician Brian Clark, we invite you on a digital audio walk around Sheffield City Centre. With unique insights into the history of the Sheffield Music Scene, mixed with some of the era’s greatest tunes, we’ll virtually guide you around iconic locations from the Applebaum Head Shop to the Mucky Duck.

Share Your Story

We want to hear your memories of the 1960s - submit a photograph, tell a story, scan in a recipe or write us a letter telling us about your experience of the decade.

Read, Watch & Listen

An archive of podcasts, articles and photographs created for the Talking About Our Generation project.

U3A Logo.png
lottery_Logo_Black RGB.png

Supported by Culture Recovery Fund: Grants second round from Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) resources and Arts Council.

SPARKS_Patterns (12).png

About Sparks
A project in partnership with Age Better in Sheffield

Talking About Our Generation

Like most things in 2020 our SPARKS project, a campaign to open up the local arts and culture scene to those aged over 50, was subject to a series of cancellations as we stayed at home to protect each other. As the excitement of attending gigs, performances and festivals in real-life faded, the need to deliver these experiences to a whole generation of people across the city was needed more than ever.

SPARKS, an Ignite Imaginations project funded by Age Better Sheffield, is looking to support individuals, groups and communities across Sheffield to deliver creative and cultural activities.

Read on to learn more about SPARKS and how you can get involved. 




Joe is a theatremaker and digital artist, living and working in Sheffield. He writes and directs for his family theatre company, Paperfinch, which creates interactive "adventure theatre" told with live music, puzzles and games.


He works as a creative facilitator, devising and running workshops and projects in a community context. He is a freelance producer, working with local artists and organisations to create new work. He is also a digital artist, recently creating online experiences for the University of Leeds, Migration Matters Festival and The Bare Project.

Joe has joined Ignite Imagination to create our SPARKS Festival (the name is a work in progress!) in spring 2021. 

SPARKS: Talking About Our Generation

Talking About Our Generation is for anyone aged 50 and over who would like to get involved with art and culture in Sheffield, to meet people and discover new things. 

It will give you access to art and culture in Sheffield from screenings to performances, workshops with industry professionals, and other opportunities to learn more about how to make your own events.

We've teamed up with artists (visual artists, writers, filmmakers, musician, theatre-makers, composers and more) and people who make events to bring you the best of what’s happening in Sheffield from now until Spring 2021. 


'Talking About Our Generation' will culminate in an arts and culture festival programmed exclusively by those over 50. 



To find out more or to sign up please email, you can also sign up for updates on our mailing lists by clicking here.

Talking About Our Generation is a Sparks project, delivered by Ignite Imaginations in partnership with Age Better in Sheffield.

bottom of page