Hallam FM quits Sheffield festival as it becomes ‘too big’

Tramlines Main Stage
Tramlines Main Stage
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ORGANISERS of Sheffield’s award-winning Tramlines festival have parted company with a city radio station over crowd safety concerns.

The Saturday main stage line-up on July 21 will no longer be put together by Hallam FM, after figures showed last year’s attendance was nearly five times that of 2009 - and organisers do not want the event to get any bigger.

Most of the people who attended the free event last year, particularly on the Saturday, were in the Devonshire Green area where the main stage is.

Hallam FM and Tramlines said they had decided ‘for the safety of festival goers’, the city radio station should withdraw its involvement.

Festival director Sarah Nulty said: “This certainly hasn’t been an easy decision for any of us but I think everyone can agree we must put safety first.

“We have had a brilliant working relationship with Hallam FM and together we have delivered three fantastic main stage line-ups for Tramlines.”

Acts including Olly Murs and Pixie Lott have given the festival mainstream appeal as it spread to 70 venues across the city centre - but with numbers growing from 35,000 in the first year to 150,000 in 2011 organisers do not want the event to get bigger.

They want audiences to move between Devonshire Green and other venues rather than a largely young crowd staying at the 8,000-capacity site all day.

Alex Morley, from Hallam FM, said: “We have loved being part of Tramlines, bringing some fantastic artists to Sheffield each summer for the past three years.”

“However, safety is of paramount importance and the event was becoming too big for the space. So we came to the joint decision with Tramlines organisers to withdraw our involvement.”