TRAMLINES, Sheffield’s own urban Glastonbury, is on track this weekend to be the biggest free pop festival in Europe, writes Graham Walker,
And the fun began with a performance by home grown band Reverend and the Makers on the Nokia Lumia Live main stage in Devonshire Green.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch show highlights and digital editor Graham Walker’s chat with the band.
WHAT’S ON: Full details at www.tramlines.org.uk.
Frontman John McClure and his band mates, who spoke of their excitement about performing for fans, family and friends, told the crowd to do just one thing - bounce.
And the thousands who turned up, braving the slightest of drizzle, did just that.
After months of preparation, Sheffield’s Tramlines festival is under way - with bands playing in scores of local venues today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22).
Performances by blues musicians also kicked off the proceedings on Friday at Sheffield pubs such as Delaney’s Bar off London Road, which have teamed up with the fesiitval for a special Blues and Ale Trail.
And there’s much more to come as the free festival gets going in earnest today.
This evening’s headliners are urban acts Roots Manuva and Ms Dynamite, while elsewhere there are sets by DJ Toddla T and indie group Future of the Left.
More sedate sounds will be on offer in the Folk Forest, in Endcliffe Park, while the Yellow Arch recording studios in Neepsend is hosting a series of performances and discussions from music writers.
Tomorrow festivalgoers will be sent off in style by main stage headliners We Are Scientists, Field Music and the hotly-tipped singer Beth Jeans Houghton.
Tramlines - now in its fourth year - is taking over 70 venues around Sheffield, including many city centre pubs, but the biggest gatherings will be on Devonshire Green, Barker’s Pool and the Peace Gardens.
There will also be a stage in Tudor Square for the first time, and organisers are expecting a huge turnout after the event attracted 150,000 revellers in 2011.
Families can even get involved with a special children’s music event in Orchard Square this afternoon.
Music for the Kids is taking place at Waterstones from 3pm to 5pm, offering an acoustic line-up and the chance for youngsters to meet fun character Theo the Bear.
The family-friendly stage has been organised by the Sheffield Children’s Hospital charity.
Kate Hewett, who is in charge of booking acts for Tramlines, said: “We’re really excited to have the charity involved in this year’s festival.
“We try to add new areas to Tramlines each year, so when the team approached us with their idea for an acoustic, family-friendly stage, it seemed like a perfect addition to the programme, and we were more than happy for them to run with it.
“The charity is a great organisation and we hope that getting involved in Tramlines is as beneficial to them as it is for us.”
Donations will be taken for the charity’s Arts for Health programme, which promotes recovery through music, art, poetry and performance.
* For more information about Tramlines visit www.tramlines.org.uk or follow the organisers on @tramlines via Twitter.