Festival boss sets sights on Sheffield success

Sarah Nulty, Tramlines festival director, pictured at Devonshire Green.
Sarah Nulty, Tramlines festival director, pictured at Devonshire Green.
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THE director of Sheffield’s Tramlines music festival is targeting another year of success.

About 175,000 people flocked to last year’s event and even more are expected to attend this year’s festival in July.

Sarah Nulty, Tramlines co-founder and director, said: “The original idea of the festival was to let the rest of the country know Sheffield has great music to offer 52 weeks a year.

“I think we’ve played a part in making Sheffield music a fixture in the UK, but we want to keep improving from one year to the next.”

She admitted the organisers never expected Tramlines to grow as rapidly as it has in such a short space of time, after 35,000 fans attended the first festival in 2009, before 70,000 flocked to the 2010 event.

Sarah said the praise heaped on Tramlines – it was named best metropolitan festival at the UK Festival awards last year – has helped raise the profile of Sheffield as a whole.

She said: “That’s the most important thing to come out of it.

“More than 600 bands played Tramlines last year, and probably 75 per cent of them were from Sheffield. That really spreads the word to attract people to the festival.

“Even though Tramlines works with a lot of promoters and venues in Sheffield, there are a lot of local bands we don’t really come across.

“Putting them on at the festival is a way for us to discover new music and let everyone know about what is going on in Sheffield.”

This year’s festival takes place from Friday to Sunday, July 20 to 22, across more than 70 venues in the city centre, including The Leadmill, the O2 Academy and the 8,000-capacity main stage on Devonshire Green.

Sarah said the city is ‘almost at capacity’ in terms of venues, but this year will see an expanded Dance World, after she admitted she expected at least 20,000 extra revellers to come to Sheffield on the Saturday.

She said: “We did a survey last year and there wasn’t anyone who said they wouldn’t come again. People usually bring one or two friends along. Come 1am, where are those people going to be? That’s one of the reasons we’ve opened up more space at Dance World.

“But it’s also to showcase all the diverse dance music on offer at the moment.”