Tramlines Festival @ Hillsborough Park in Sheffield, UK
Review & Photography by: Guy Hurst
With the sun shining, drinks flowing and summer vibes hitting each and every one of us full-force, festival season is well and truly underway. With Tramlines Festival being an early addition to the music calendar, this year’s event has been full of surprises and certainly hasn’t given any reason for disappointment with its biggest event EVER! Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, while also having moved to a new location at Hillsborough Park in Sheffield, England, to hold a bigger capacity, it wasn’t just the big name headliners that brought in the crowd. This year’s festival really has been a unique event, which ultimately comes down to its location of Sheffield. Tramlines really does promote local music, local food & beverage companies, local events and most importantly, local attendees, which makes for a great atmosphere even if you’re from out of town. This being a certain quality which isn’t really prompted enough through other festivals around the world – which they should! Great music, an easy central location and above all, an extremely chilled atmosphere made a great festival weekender in the sunshine.
On this year’s line-up, we had the opportunity to see Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher and Craig David, each being artists that don’t really do the festival circuit that often. Acts alone that would make the £70 weekend ticket well worth the price. Each bringing a different style and sound to every evening; Stereophonics creating that hard mix of slow acoustic singalongs, then beating down with aggressive hair-standing solos with popular songs like Dakota, Maybe Tomorrow and Handbags and Gladrags. Noel bringing in those classic Oasis songs that everyone young and old could sing their hearts out too including Little by Little, Half the World Away and of course, the legendary Wonderwall. Could it get any better? Only if we’re forgetting about Craig David, who was bringing something new and modern compared to other acts on from the weekend. What headliners could be better? We also had other local greats from Sheffield high-up on the line-up too including Red Faces, The Everly Pregnant Brothers and Milburn, who each really connected with the crowd on a spiritual level, to make the festival weekender just that little bit more special. Although Tramlines Festival isn’t the biggest, or even have as many ‘mainstream’ acts as other festivals out there, it makes up on that overwhelming feeling once you’re heading home that, ‘I’m going to remember this weekend for a very long time’.
Tramlines isn’t just for music, but also to showcase other strands of entertainment that you don’t get anywhere else. The Leadmill Live stage plays host to a long list of comedy acts up until 4pm before it’s taken over by more music, and one of the highlights of the weekend was seeing comedian Barbara Nice in the early hours of Saturday, who acts on playing the role everyone’s ‘typical nan’, getting into full festival swing by calling onto the entire population of males in the audience to ask them to crowd surf her around the tent while wiggling to Iggy Pops ‘The Passenger’. Everyone in the tent didn’t think they would ever see something so wild, so early in the day, but it did make great entertainment.
One incredibly sweet theme that came across all aspects of the festival was the phrase ‘Be More Nulty’. Tramlines festival Direct Sarah Nulty lost her battle with cancer at such an early age not long before the 10thanniversary this festival weekend just gone, and so to pay maximum respect, banners were made, t-shirtswere worn by bands and praise was fired off left, right and centre, as without her the festival wouldn’t have got to where it is today. Attire can be purchased from Dropdeadwhere all proceeds go to Weston Park Cancer Charity, Cavendish Cancer Care and Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
All in all, Tramlines Festival is a spectacular weekend, from the great music, to the central location and also the other great people attending. At currently just £59.50for three days of entertainment, there isn’t much more of a budget friendly festival out there in the UK. As there is no camping opportunity due to it taking place just outside of the city centre of Sheffield, accommodation can be sorted through the Tramines website, where this year you could have been staying in local student halls for £50 per night – which beats camping hands down! If you want some family time in the sun or just a long day out, Tramlines Festival could be the one for you.