As of 2009, the city of Sheffield has annually played host to the award-winning inner-city Tramlines Festival, an event that has welcomed a consistently burgeoning number of festival-goers over their seven successful years, and witnessed an ever-developing roster of notable musical artists take to their city centre stages. Held over three days at eighteen separate sites, this year sees Tramlines growing in stature further still, with the festival presenting arguably their most impressive line-up to date – showcasing over two hundred artists with a myriad of high-profile acts including The Charlatans, Basement Jaxx, Wu-Tang Clan, Billy Bragg, Martha Reeves, Ghostpoet, Buzzcocks and The Sugar Hill Gang.
[Photo credit: Giles Bertenshaw]
The major-league headliners are likely to be the main attraction for many, but much of Tramlines’ appeal lies in their perpetual commitment to championing top quality local music. Traditionally, the festival aims to combine the established talent of world-renowned musicians with that of up-and-coming local acts and, as usual, this year’s line-up is awash with exciting Yorkshire prospects worth keeping an eye on, many of whom will be sharing a stage with a number of their more seasoned northern kindred in Submotion Orchestra, Dutch Uncles and Tramlines regulars Rolo Tomassi — suggesting that as Tramlines develops, the festival’s original community ethos remains just as important as ever. But what really sets Tramlines apart from a number of comparable inner-city festivals is the refreshing array of contemporary musical styles the event routinely covers. There really is something here for everyone; be it indie, rock, folk, hip hop, or experimental jazz, Tramlines has it covered. And staying true to the city’s electronic heritage, the festival offers an outstanding host of dancefloor-oriented options throughout the weekend including A Guy Called Gerald, Roni Size, MJ Cole, Erol Alkan, Kris Wadsworth, Bjorn Torske, Surgeon and Warp Records’ own Jimmy Edgar.
[Photo credit: Dan Sumption]
It’s no surprise that Tramlines’ frequently impressive line-up has resulted in a substantial rise in annual attendance. The festival witnessed a record number of ticket sales in 2014, an achievement that has resulted in the decision to transfer the main stage to the university-located Ponderosa Park for the first time in its seven years, leaving its smaller original site of Devonshire Green and The Folk Forest at Endcliffe Park to host the festival’s two additional outdoor stages. A substantial bulk of the roster will also be performing within the city at venues such as The Leadmill, Code, Hope Works, Queen’s Social Club, Millenium Gallery, The Octagon and the O2 Academy. And if, in the unlikely event, the aforementioned urban activities weren’t enough to keep you entertained, additional appearances from a selection of noteworthy line-up-omitted artists such as Breakage, Justin Robertson and Jam City can be enjoyed at Tramlines’ many fringe venues across Sheffield over the weekend, ensuring the city’s arresting transformation into a stimulating hub of live music for the festival’s duration.
[Photo credit: Simon Butler]
Tickets are available for the very reasonable price of £30.00 plus booking fee for the full weekend, or £23.00 plus booking fee for the day, and can be purchased directly from the Tramlines website. As the festival is held within the city centre, on-site camping is, understandably, not available. However, hotel accommodation can be obtained throughout the city, and for those wishing to combine the weekend’s events with ‘the authentic festival experience’, tent pitches can be found at the Cotton Star campsite, just a few miles out of Sheffield’s centre. Tramlines have also kindly teamed up with Liberty Living student accommodation to offer budget rooms at just £90.00 for the full three nights. The price includes a shared kitchen, bathroom, common room, laundry facilities and wireless internet.
Full details regarding the festival, its lineup and accommodation options can be found at the tramlines website.