Tramlines, one of the UK’s biggest inner city music festivals, is on track to be another smash hit with music lovers in Sheffield
Tens of thousands of people will watch 200 acts, including international superstars and 150 local artistes performing in 15 venues,
To give you an ultimate highlights guide to this year’s weekend long event - July 25 to 27 - The Star today invited its head of programming, Kate Hewett, to write exclusively for The Star.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Graham Walker’s chat with Kate looking at all the highlights.
Tramlines, back for its sixth year, happens right here in the heart of Sheffield city centre.
And this year it will stage its biggest line up yet with the likes of Katy B, Public Enemy, Sister Sledge, The Cribs, Annie Mac, Ms Dynamite, Toddla T Sound, The Rifles, Simian Mobile Disco, Tiga, The Wedding Present and loads more all taking to the stage.
Winner of the Best Metropolitan Festival 2011 at the UK Festival Awards and shortlisted in 2012 and 2013, Tramlines is a discovery festival with something to explore around every corner and, with no mud or camping, it’s also the ideal place to take the kids this summer.
The team recently added yet another huge addition of 50 new acts to complete its 2014 lineup. They include some the UK’s hottest breakthrough acts, with Veronica Falls, The Crookes, Lulu James and The Hosts joining the bill, along with a few big names.
One of the biggest bands of the 2-Tone movement, new additions The Beat will take to the Main Stage on Sunday alongside The Cribs, The Rifles, Catfish & The Bottlemen and more. Known the world over for a string of hit singles including ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ and ‘Too Nice To Talk To’, their songs of peace and unity fuse ska, pop, reggae and punk rock.
Big names aside, the Tramlines team also pride themselves on showcasing new talent and this year the festival has given many talented, unsigned acts the chance to play via its Apply To Play Facebook App.
Over 1,500 breaking artists applied to join the festival bill, and a selection of winners were picked by a panel of new music experts including presenters from BBC Introducing and a few of the festival’s more established acts including Toddla T and Slow Club.
As ever, the festival features artists from a wide range of musical genres, and it’s also a great opportunity to catch some future stars. With the likes of Top Ten artist Shift K3y playing at the o2 Academy, hotly-tipped electronica act East India Youth taking to the stage at the Harley and post-punk four-piece PINS playing at the Leadmill, it’s a great opportunity to catch some future big names in small venues.
Past events have included performances from alt-J, the xx, AlunaGeorge, Roots Manuva, Echo and the Bunnymen, Toddla T and Annie Mac, The Mystery Jets, Darwin Deez, Heaven 17, The Futureheads and many more.
New for 2014, the festival is also giving music-lovers the chance to take home an original piece of artwork to remember the festival, with the first ever Tramlines Gig Poster Show.
Artists Drew Millward & Tom J Newell are curating and exhibiting a collection of Risograph prints alongside their hand-picked line up of internationally renowned illustrators, including Dan Mumford, Kid Acne, Jonathan Edwards, TADO, Guy McKinley, Bob2, Mr Gauky, Tommy Davidson and many more.
Each artist has designed a Limited Edition Risograph print for a selection of bands that they have chosen personally from the Tramlines lineup.
The exhibition will take place in Millennium Galleries over the festival weekend. Entry is free and the prints will be available to buy from the gallery for the duration of the festival, while stocks last.
The festival is not only a destination for music-lovers though; it also has plenty to offer families and children seeking an alternative and culturally enriching day out.
This year’s festival sees the welcome return of free-entry, family-friendly areas such as the Peace Gardens, the Folk Forest, the Weston Park party and Barker’s Pool, which will be filled with street theatre, dancers and workshops.
The free activities will take place alongside the festival’s core ticketed programme of live music, and will include live spray-can art, fairground rides, African percussion workshops, woodcraft, a rodeo bull, bungee run, break-dancing battles and much more.
The Folk Forest returns for 2014 to its beautiful glade in Endcliffe Park to offer an escape from the City Centre with a relaxed atmosphere in a beautiful river and woodland location. Kids can try their hand at skills such as fire-lighting and woodcraft, as well as having a go at interactive team-building games such as parachute and earthball - a giant, 7ft inflatable global football.
Those heading to the Folk Forest can also enjoy a quality selection folk music, contemporary art, books and photography at The Folk Forest Fair, as well as the Thornbridge Brewery Real Ale Bar and a diverse selection of food stalls including the Hot Rocks Woodfired Pizza, the Veggie Shack and Snap Deli Hog Roast to name just a few.
Sitting in the heart of the City Centre is the Global Peace Gardens, which will showcase music and dance performances including traditional Roma dancing and belly dancing led by societies from the University of Sheffield and performances from The Stars (a band comprising of adults with learning difficulties), interactive live spray-can art and the annual Tramlines breakdancing competition featuring troupes from Sheffield and beyond.
Meanwhile, the five-acre Weston Park will be packed with fairground rides, a carousel, face-painters and kids’ activities such as a rodeo bull and bungee run. The bandstand will host a stage showcasing live acts from across the North while fantastic food and drink will also be on offer, including a festival bar, ice creams, smoothies and great local coffees.
Festival programmes will be onsale from mid-July in venues, bars and shops around the city, while the whole lineup and full details of the weekend are available to browse on tramlines.org.uk.
The festival will also be launching its brand-new online festival planner on the website, meaning you’ll be able to scan stage times for all acts and work out where you need to be over the whole weekend.
* Many Tramlines events are free, with a fee to see the biggest names on the Main Stage and in paid venues. But with weekend tickets available now for only £28, it’s one of the cheapest festival experiences in the country.
Advance weekend tickets are available from www.tramlines.org.uk or from a variety of venues around the city including The Leadmill, The Harley and the University of Sheffield box office.
Weekend tickets are available in advance only and come with a free festival programme. Meanwhile, advance day tickets are priced at just £12.
TRAMLINES BY NUMBERS
* 40,000 music lovers
* 200 artistes
* 5 chart toppers
* 120 local acts
* 15 venues
* 300 hours of music
* 4,500 songs played
* 6 years of Tramlines