Small is all for city’s mini-festival

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AS festivals go it promises to be somewhat different to the one taking place across the border in West Yorkshire this Bank Holiday weekend.

At Bramham Park, Leeds Festival will see some 100,000-plus music fans converge on fields to watch mega-star noise merchants like Foo Fighters while supping over-priced pints and being bombarded with a stream of adverts from multi-national sponsors. In accordance with tradition, some people may or may not set fire to their tents at the close of the weekend.

But in Sheffield a rather more sensible – but musically, perhaps, far more exciting – event will be taking place.

The Sheffield Pop Weekender will see some 17 bands from across the UK – including Standard Fare, Heroes Of The Mexican Independence Movement and The Mini Skips – perform at three different venues across three days. If they get 250 through the doors, it will be considered a success.

“Obviously, we’re not competing with Leeds Festival in any way,” says Dan Hartley, the man behind the extravaganza. “We’re not being sponsored by corporations, and we’re not about making money; we just wanted to put on some bands that we really like.”

Those bands, then? You may not have heard of them all, but there’s reason to be excited. There’ll be big(ish) names, like the aforementioned Standard Fare and Brighton’s ukulele-toting The Bobby McGee’s, impressive newcomers like London’s Call Me Wednesday, and groups who are playing Sheffield for the first time, including The Hobbes Fanclub.

Oh, and Dan’s own lot, The Sweet Nothings, will be making an appearance.

“I’m looking forward to playing,” says the 33-year-old, of Walkley. “But it should all be great. It’s a bunch of people from all over making pop music for you, because they love making pop music. What’s not to like?”

The timetable is subject to change but, roughly, things will kick off with DJs in Dada, in Trippet Lane, from 9pm Saturday; bands at the Red House, in Solly Street, throughout Sunday from 3pm; and more live music in The Rutland Arms, Brown Street, from 3pm Monday.

More information at And look out for Shefstock happening at The RS Bar (aka Royal Standard) and The Harley on Sunday afternoon and evening. See Gig Guide, P30.