The curtain closed on Sunday Night on another epic edition of Tramlines, Sheffield’s biggest celebration of music, art and comedy. Yesterday early bird tickets went on sale for the 2023 festival and are available from www.tramlines.org.uk priced from £79.50 plus booking fee.
35,000 revellers a day attended this year’s sold-out event which saw North Shield’s boy wonder, Sam Fender make his first ever headline appearance to crowds in their masses at Sarah Nulty’s Main Stage on Friday night.
Fender travelled to the Hillsborough Park site with a piece of BBC Radio 1’s giant jigsaw, later nabbed by Bradford all round mischief makers, Bad Boy Chiller Crew at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground where the artists dressing rooms are located (picture here).
The 13th edition of Tramlines also staged hometown performances from the recently reunited Little Man Tate. Lead singer Jon Windle closed the set by giving his guitar to a beaming fan in the front row.
Sheffield’s Reverend and The Makers fronted by the larger-than-life Jon McClure debuted two new tracks Heatwave and Problems from the band’s highly anticipated seventh studio album as McClure’s family and children joined them on stage.
Self Esteem aka Rebecca Taylor was an absolute highlight with both herself and her band kitted out in Sheffield Wednesday shirts on T’Other Stage.
Other standout performances across the arena included Scouting For Girls whose 30-minute set drew the largest crowd ever to T’Other Stage, second only to Eurovision hero Sam Ryder whose army of fans spilled out from the tent. Delightfully, four human-sized wombats appeared on stage for The Wombats’ set.
New Kasabian frontman Serge hugged a surprised security person on stage while James lead man Tim Booth jumped into the crowd to perform four songs, up close and personal. The world’s first Elvis fronted Nirvana, Elvana were also a highlight of the weekend with Elvis himself launching himself into crowds for more rock ‘n’ roll crowd surfing. And to top it all off, a stunning sunset broke as Madness closed proceedings on Sunday evening.
The entire festival weekend was packed with quality performances from the likes of Pixey, Baby Queen, Do Nothing and Yard Act. It also saw official festival bookings for two special artists, both who’d come through Tramlines’ Apply To Play scheme in 2021; neo-soul singer August Charles and the soulful R’n’B artist, Rumbi Tauro.
The Library Stage was the place to discover the best in breaking and unsigned talent. Sheffield’s Pattern + Push talent competition for rappers and singers certainly fulfilled its brief on Saturday, showcasing to audiences 2022 winner Sarinity Jones alongside Sheffield MC and producer, Coco.
In conjunction with BBC Introducing Sheffield, the Sunday takeover was a showcase of winners from the 2022 Apply To Pay scheme. Audiences caught a diverse selection of grass roots music talent many who had never stepped on a festival stage before from Otis Mensah with his alternative take on hip hop and abstract poetry to and the dark-pop stylings of Gia Ford.
Tim Cleasby, Tramlines Festival Ops Director said, “What a fantastic weekend. I spoke to so many people who were having a great time, loads of smiling faces. Musically, the Pattern + Push curated day on the library stage was magnificent, Self Esteem was just awesome and seeing kids singing and dancing to songs I grew up with as Madness closed the show was glorious. Jason Manford’s genius of getting audiences singing along to old primary school hymns to the calm oasis Into The Trees watching families playing together topped off a brilliant weekend.”
“It was the biggest audience we’ve ever had on Hillsborough Park, so I’d like to send a huge thanks to the whole team, to every single person who worked across the site, to the volunteers, and to everyone who bought a ticket. We can’t wait to welcome you back next year.”
Into The Trees was a hive of family entertainment all weekend with kids pulling the parents away from the music to enjoy the popular Arts + Crafts tent, The Flying Seagull Project, Science shows, the mighty Kids Rave, a Spray Paint workshop led by Sheffield contemporary artist, Marcus Metho, and a penalty shootout with Ozzie Owl and Captain Blade, Lidl Mudder.
2023 also saw the welcomed return of The Open Arms. Alternative fun and frolics packed out the stage by appearances from Barrioke (ft. Shaun Williamson), ABBA Party, Old Dirty Brasstards, Spice Girls tribute band The Girl Power Experience, and the Speakers Corner takeover which featured a huge range of emerging talent in the field of music, spoken word and poetry curated by Sheffield’s former Poet Laureate, Otis Mensah.
Festival goers guzzled down pints of the In The Park charity beer by local brewery, Thornbridge – 50p of each pint sold will be donated to the Tramlines Trust that supports South Yorkshire based charities and grassroots community organisations.
With so much joyous feedback from punters this year, people are advised to be quick to snap up a best value early bird ticket which historically sell out, fast. Tramlines 2023 will take place from 21st – 23rd July at Hillsborough Park, Sheffield.