Tramlines: Sheffield councillor says no re-entry festival is at risk of becoming 'in Hillsborough, not part of it'

A Sheffield councillor is urging the organisers of Tramlines Festival to scrap the return of its ‘no re-entry’ policy.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 1:16 pm

The three-day event returns to Hillsborough Park between July 22-24, with headliners including Sam Fender, Becky Hill and Madness.

But organisers have announced the return of the ‘no re-entry’ policy, where ticketholders will be unable to come back in once they leave the grounds.

The policy was rolled out last year as part of Covid-19 safety measures, but proved unpopular as it meant Sheffield residents could no longer nip home and return for acts or even leave to support local businesses.

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The ward councillor for Hillsborough George Lindsar-Hammond says Tramlines with a 'no re-entry' policy could 'sever the connection' the festival has with the local community.

Now, councillor for Hillsborough George Lindars-Hammond is calling on organisers to scrap the policy.

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"I say this as a friend of Tramlines and not as an opponent – for a lot of reasons it’s turned much less into a community accessible event and fast towards a festival that is in Hillsborough, but not part of Hillsborough,” said Coun Lindars-Hammond.

"People are really really positive about Tramlines. But a policy like this has a chance to sever the connection with the local community.

Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, executive member for health and social care and ward councillor for Hillsborough, in Sheffield Town Hall council chamber.

"The people behind Tramlines are good people. They are responsible music festival organisers who work hard. And they are at risk of squandering the goodwill they have with the area by pursuing this policy."

Tramlines 2021 was one of the Government’s ‘Covid-19 pilot events’ to research if large-scale gatherings could be brought back with restrictions. The ‘no re-entry’ policy was introduced as part of that.

Tramlines’ organisers have now confirmed the policy will return, citing that it helps issues with site management and was supported by the city council’s Safety Advisory Group.

Councillor Lindars-Hammond said: "Last year, it was a frustrating but understandable position they were in as it was a Covid-19 test event.

"And it did have an impact on businesses but I think there was clear reasoning behind it.

"It cuts across the interests of businesses, and a wide cross section of residents who attend the festival are really, really unhappy about it.

"I’ve spoken to businesses who say last year, during Tramlines, they didn’t get business from attenders and their regular customers stayed away too.

"There are absolutely justifications – as a policy, it’s a way of managing the site and the surrounding area.

"But as a local councillor, as a council, and as the organisers, we should look much more holistically at how this policy impacts the local community.”

In a Facebook post, the Hillsborough ward councillor said he had contacted the city’s Parks and Culture Committee as well as senior Sheffield City Council officers asking if anything could be done to change the policy.

A spokesperson for Tramlines said the festival supports the Sheffield community in multiple ways , including booking local bands and artists across the line up, providing free or discounted tickets for local residents, and collaborations with Hillsborough Primary School.

They said in a statement: “42 local businesses and over 500 local staff will be working with us on site this year and we are proud to continue our many other local initiatives.”