Then and Now: How Sheffield’s Tramlines festival has changed since 2009

As Tramlines 2021 gets underway this weekend (July 23), we look at how 'Sheffield’s biggest party' has changed over the years.

By Kian Rains
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:34 pm

Tramlines started in the city centre, focusing on venues, bars and the main stage on Devonshire Green – at first, entry was free, then tickets began to be sold until gradually the festival took its current shape as a multi-day extravaganza for tens of thousands of people in Hillsborough Park.

Since it began in 2009, the festival has become even more successful, attracting thousands of festivalgoers to Hillsborough Park from all over the country.

It won the "Best Metropolitan Festival" award at the UK Festival Awards 2019, and these days it is known as Sheffield’s biggest party.

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Local indie band Paperdots (from left ) Anthoney Barlow; Scott Howes; James Leazely and Jonathan Birch launching the Tramlines Music Festival by playing on the Supertram in Sheffield City Centre

The opening success in 2009 has paved way for an event that is at the heart of Sheffield’s tourism sector – each year, the festival boosts the city’s economic growth and will continue to do so going forward.

The lineups made up of local and national artists have also gone from strength to strength.

In 2009 we saw Notable artists such as Rolo Tomassi, Just Jack, Toddla T, Pixie Lott, Little Boots, Example, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The XX and Reverend, and The Makers entertain fans.

Ten years later, the 2019 event welcomed acts including the Courteeners, Nile Rodgers & Chic, the Manic Street Preachers, Rag'n'Bone Man, Doves, Happy Mondays, Reverend and The Makers, Johnny Marr, Miles Kane, Circa Waves, Lewis Capaldi and Shame.

Reverand and the Makers on the mainstage at Hillsbrough for Tramlines 2019

Whilst last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19, it’s expected that Tramlines 2021 will make up for it as people head to their first festival in over a year.