It might not feel like it yet but festival season has dawned. Festivals are making their final preps before the masses rush into the fields to drink and dance the blues away. Tramlines is no exception. Now in its eleventh year, the festival, which will be held between the 19 and 21 July, is a summertime staple for residents of Sheffield and surrounding areas. In fact, since its successful move to Hillsborough last year, the event has seen numbers soar. Now established in its new location you wouldn’t blame Tramlines for taking it easy this year. But nay. They have packed this summer’s event with even more entertainment, an even bigger set of artists and a side-splitting comedy line up. Ignoring all the comedy, food and further activities however, here’s three reasons as music fans we can’t wait to grab our wellies and head to Hillsborough park this July.
The Line Up
Duh. The festival gurus and know-it-alls will try and convince you the line up is not the best part of a festival. But let’s get real. We are not talking Glastonbury here – sure their will be some great stuff to do (and eat) between bands but you ain’t travelling all the way to Hillsborough for frozen yoghurt served in a coconut shell. You’ve got indie turned-electro pop extraordinaires, Two Door Cinema Club heading up the Friday bill, followed by The Courteeners on the Saturday and Disco legends CHIC on Sunday. You are spoiled. On top of that you’ve got a spectrum of music across the weekend from the current king of the pop ballad (and comedic genius) Lewis Capaldi, dame of the dancefloor, Annie Mac and punk prodigies, Shame just to mention a few. So get a Tramlines playlist made, hell get a bloody schedule ready if you need. You don’t wanna miss much of this line up!
Following a successful launch last year, the official Fringe at Tramlines is the place to go to be blown away by unsigned talent or to experience some of the finest street performances. Taking place on the Saturday and Sunday, highlights of The Fringe include free outdoor entertainment at ‘The Fringe Stage’ on Devonshire Green, an 80s/90s disco at The Peace Gardens, Street Performers in Barker’s Pool, and a traditional funfair on Fargate. Of course there is also the dozens of pubs, clubs and venues across the city featuring bands, DJs and performers over the Tramlines weekend. While Sheffield is a hot spot for growing talent all year round, The Fringe transforms each corner of the city into a haven of talent to feast your eyes and more importantly your ears.
The Local Talent
Sheffield is well known for producing some rock’n’roll royalty. We are talking, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys. Def Leppard and Bring Me the Horizon to name but a few. But it is a catalyst to this day for producing mega-talent and not only of the electric guitar variety. Electronic, dance and even a growing hip-hop scene (check out Otis Mensah, Sheffield’s very own poet laureate, for a taste of that) can be found in The Steel City and its surrounding suburbs. Confirmed on the official Tramlines line up are the sublime six-piece and Sheff’s secret gem, The Seamonsters who play the Leadmill Live stage on the Friday. There is also the garage rock giants, Drenge from the neighbouring town of Castleton who head up the Leadmill Live stage on Sunday. And back from beefing with Piers Morgan on morning telly, you have the Reverend himself Jon McClure returning to the mainstage with the full band. They are just a small taste of the local sound however. Of course the talents of the Steel City will also be blasting out of speakers across the whole city for The Fringe events so you will struggle to miss it to be honest.