Tramlines Festival @ Hillsborough Park in Sheffield, UK
Review & photography by Guy Hurst
This summer saw the return of one of the UK’s most exciting music and comedy festivals, Sheffield’s own Tramlines Festival 2019. Its hot anticipation saw every last ticket to be sold out for a fully packed Hillsborough Park for a three day weekend full of local eats, family activities and artists you won’t find at other music events on this year’s festival circuit. This along with the sunshine and good eats, made this year for a blissful weekend not to be forgotten.
Starting out with the comedy acts, the roster gets bigger and bigger year after year. During the weekend we saw performances from Reginald D Hunter, Thomas Green, Andre Vincent, Shappi Khorsandi and Phil Jupitus to name a few. Each act brought the pure fire of not-so-family-friendly content to a tent full of viewing families, for that strong controversial comedy vibe we all love and enjoy. Phil Jupitus’ creatively energetic comedy poems gave you something you don’t normally see from his ordinary TV appearances, giving the people of the packed out Leadmill Stage tent something special before going on for an evening of music.
With everything else going on at Tramlines, ultimately it would be the music that would be the main attraction for most people. With a huge lineup consisting of Two Door Cinema Club, Manic Street Preachers, Courteeners, Johnny Marr, Miles Kane, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Lewis Capaldi, Doves, Jade Bird, Becky Hill, Annie Mac, Peter Hook & The Light, Sea Girls, and loads, loads more, there really is something for everyone. If you’re older or young, like indie or dance, or just want to see more local emerging music, Tramlines has it all. The headline sets by Two Door, Courteeners and Nile Rodgers were all very special in their own right. Two-door playing old classics and new bangers such as Undercover Martyn, This Is the Life, Someday and Sun, brought a killer first evening of music madness on Friday. Courteeners brought the chaos on the Saturday headline slot with fans setting off flares from their entrance to Oasis’ song Morning Glory before playing their first track, Are You in Love With a Notion? Their energy and charisma had the entire crowd jumping from the front to the back with an audience of all ages to popular tracks of theirs such as Summer, Small Bones, and Modern love. Finally Nile Rodgers & Chic blessed Sheffield with the final headline slot on Sunday. Their disco enthused cover set made for instant good times which couldn’t stop the entire audience from dancing along with a smile of their face. An unexpected setlist contained forgotten gems such as Like a Virgin (Madonna cover), Modern Love (David Bowie Cover), Get Lucky (Daft Punk cover), I’m Coming Out (Diana Ross cover), Notorious (Duran Duran cover) and loads more. Could the lineup get any better where there’s something for everyone?
The locality to Sheffield and diverse family-friendliness of Tramlines really does make it different from most other festivals out there. Whether it be the locally sourced music acts such as Good Cop Bad Cop, Reverend And The Makers, Everly Pregnant Brothers, or the emphasis on local food and drink outlets, or the amount of child-friendly films playing around the site with bouncy castles and face paint stalls, Tramlines has it all. Tickets are already on sale for next year’s event for a dangerously low price – but they aren’t expected to be around for long after this year’s speedy sell-out, so get in fast.