This is the first year I have been to Sheffield city center's Tramlines Festival. I went for a friend's birthday and there was a nice big group of us. This feels so different compared to all the other festivals I have been to - read on to find out why.
Tramlines has been running for three years now, and takes place in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. I hadn’t really heard much about it until a friend invited me along for a birthday this year. It is, above all else, a music festival, which takes place in loads of venues across the city center, including a park up by the university, countless pubs, and nightclubs, and on a few purpose-built stages in any bit of available outdoor space that they can find!
The beauty of this festival for me, and the reason I can see myself going back year after year, rests solely on two factors:
1) It is 100% free of charge! You literally don’t have to pay see anything for the music or entrance to any of the venues. This also extends to the club nights which are on after the music has ended.
2) You don’t have to camp in a tent! Call me old, call me miserable – I don’t care. I bloody hate tents. I can’t sleep at night because it is so cold and noisy and I can’t lie in, in the morning (beyond 5am anyway) because it is so warm and noisy. Also, in my opinion, the music is usually not good enough at a festival to justify the horrendous toilet situations you are expected to endure (Leeds festival cesspit anyone?).
So we stayed in a hotel (albeit a bit a dodgy one, but at least it had a bed and running water for the weekend) from Friday to Monday and had a really great time of it. There are never going to be any super, mega famous bands on (I wouldn’t have thought) but this is nice as it showcases less mainstream, often local and slightly different artists. Musically, my highlights of the weekend were Rolo Tomassi, Dog is Dead, and East Park Reggae Collective (who hails from Leeds LS9 and are just fab!). It is worth mentioning however, that Tramlines is not just about music. There was a great selection of entertainment, including break dancing, film showings, and a variety of street entertainment. There was also an exciting food fair down one of the main shopping streets where Dave had a salted caramel and peanut butter flavored ice cream and I bought a chocolate Guinness cake from a lady in a VW camper van!
All in all, I had a super weekend and the things I really want to go back for would be a vodka-flavored snow cone (vodka supplied separately), a night out at the Leadmill, meeting random teens, and party-crashing and lying in the sun with my friends.
You can read more about Tramlines on its official web page here