Tramlines: Music festival to stay in Hillsborough as 'best venue' despite mudbath

Only Hillsborough Park has the capacity, the authority says.
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Tramlines is staying at Hillsborough Park because it is the ‘best venue’ for the city, the council says.

The authority has revealed its analysis of other potential sites following a huge debate about whether it should be moved.

Hillsborough Park was turned into a mud bath by torrential rain and 40,000 revellers over three days in July.Hillsborough Park was turned into a mud bath by torrential rain and 40,000 revellers over three days in July.
Hillsborough Park was turned into a mud bath by torrential rain and 40,000 revellers over three days in July.
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Hillsborough Park was turned into a mud bath by torrential rain and 40,000 revellers over three days in July. Large parts were fenced off for reseeding and repair work over the summer holidays and into autumn.

Meanwhile, a ban on people leaving the site during the event continues to draw criticism from local businesses.

Now, Sheffield City Council has released its analysis of other venues.

Graves Park has too much woodland and transport links aren’t good enough. Norfolk Park capacity is only 8,000, way below the 40,000 that attend Tramlines. Ponderosa Park, which was used by the festival for a time, can only take 19,000 - not big enough to attract artists big enough 'to sell tickets'.

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Don Valley Bowl capacity is 18,000 and too small. A combination of Don Valley Bowl, the Arena, and Arena car park has been explored but isn’t possible because of the entrance and exit security measures needed for each venue.

Using just the Arena car park - approximate capacity 22,000 - alongside Don Valley Bowl wouldn’t give sufficient capacity for a ‘Main Stage’ which could hold more than 30,000, the authority says. And it would prevent the Arena - and potentially Ice Sheffield and the English Institute of Sport - from opening.

However, this option ‘continues to be explored’. The authority is keen to protect the festival because it boosts Sheffield's economy by an estimated £3.8 million a year. 

Coun Ricard Williams, chair of the communities, parks and leisure committee, said: “Tramlines will remain at Hillsborough Park because it is the best venue for the festival in the city. The fee the festival pays to the council will continue to support maintenance and improvements to the park for the benefit of all users. Festival organisers are always responsible for the cost of works required to reinstate the park after the festival.

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“I’d like to thank the local community for their patience as repairs take place. I know the damage caused by the weather conditions during the festival has had an impact on residents, and particularly families during the school holidays. 

“The council will monitor progress to ensure that high quality and sustainable repairs are made in reasonable timeframes for the weather conditions and the park is opened up for use as soon as sections become ready. We will keep working with Tramlines to ensure this level of damage is avoided if extreme wet weather happens during the festival again.”

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