Since 2009, the festival has been held every year, attracting some of music’s biggest names and thousands of music fans, both to the official line-up and to the fringe events dotted across the city.
There were fears that the 40,000-capacity festival would have to be cancelled for the second successive year due to the date falling so close to July 19 – the day when most of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
But it has been permitted to go ahead as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme and started at Hillsborough Park yesterday.
As part of the programme, festivalgoers will be asked to provide evidence of a negative coronavirus test result from the last 48 hours or proof of having had two doses of the vaccine, but once inside social distancing or masks will not be required.
Organisers confirmed earlier this week that ticketholders will not be left worse off if they are forced to isolate, something that had not been confirmed prior to this.
Yesterday saw headliners The Streets take to Sarah Nulty’s Main Stage along with The Kooks, Circa Waves, The Pidgeon Detectives and The Blinders. Today’s line-up includes The Lathums; Sheffield indie band, The Sherlocks; Blossoms and headliners Royal Blood, while acts including Tom Walker, Dizzee Rascal and Supergrass are set to perform on Sunday night.
While the country unlocked earlier this week, following 16 months of restrictions and lockdowns, there are many who feel concerned about the number of coronavirus cases, after they exceeded 50,000 for the first time since January this year.
But after it was announced that Tramlines would be held as part of the programme, the city’s Public Health Director, Greg Fell, said: “Helping cultural events to be staged safely is an essential part of our return to life where we can freely enjoy the things we love, and the findings so far have showed positive outcomes that allow us to take these next steps towards normality.”
There’s no right way to feel at the moment, and many are remaining cautious.
But Tramlines is such an important part of Sheffield’s cultural calendar, and for those who follow the rules, are healthy and feel comfortable attending, it’s just the celebration the city needs.