Sheffield is a Yorkshire city famous for its steel, its trams, and its prodigal sons: the Arctic Monkeys. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the venues in which Alex Turner honed his craft, Tramlines is the perfect opportunity to do so. The annual inner city festival promises a stellar array of music, food and more – minus the swamping mud of Glastonbury, plus a dollop of Henderson’s relish.
Here’s our guide to getting the most out of Tramlines:
WHEN IS IT?
The festival, in its eighth year, runs this weekend from 22-24 July.
WHO TO SEE – BY DAY:
In Ponderosa Park you’ll find the Main Stage, on which Jurassic 5 will be headlining with their full live band. Other acts topping the bill include Boy in Da Corner Dizzee Rascal, and R&B songstress Kelis, along with indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen and the ever-cool George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic. Madrid girl group Hinds will be bringing their brash guitars and lively stage show here on Sunday. For a more chilled, ethereal experience catch Moon Duo at Sheffield Cathedral, or walk over to the Folk Forest, where you’ll find the wonderfully Welsh former-Pipette, Gwenno, as well as 6 Music favourite C. Duncan and acoustic songbird Marika Hackman.
WHO TO SEE – BY NIGHT:
Kicking off the festival on Thursday night, Sheffield Hallam alumni Mr Scruff will Keep It Unreal with a five hour DJ set at the legendary Leadmill, while Friday night will see Sheffield native Toddla T taking over the 02 Academy. Championed by Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z, rapper Little Simz will be bringing her bars to a packed out crowd at student stomping ground The Harley, alongside Leeds punk outfit Cowtown. Into the early hours, the likes of Big Narstie, Boddika, Craig Charles, Leon Vynehall, Zed Bias, Zero 7 (DJ set), and Norman Jay MBE will be keeping revellers grooving all night long.
WHAT TO DO:
There’s something for everyone with the Fringe element of the Festival encapsulating more of the city’s independent venues (including Nation of Shopkeepers sister bar Bungalows and Bears), theatre and musicians. Take advantage of the free Soulful Moves, Indie-Disco and Hip-Hop yoga classes running throughout the weekend. If you’re a film fanatic, head to the Showcase Cinema for a wide-range of screenings, including a showing of Purple Rain in remembrance of Prince, as well as the Northern premiere of Songs of Lahore. And if that’s not enough for you, find an immersive virtual reality experience in the Folk Forest, in collaboration with the charity Shelter.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK:
What's on the menu at Tramlines (or 'Scranlines' as it's affectionately named on the festival's website)? Craft and Dough, the Sheffield equivalent of Dough Boys, will be serving up their artisan pizza in Ponderosa Park. The Harley's Twisted Burger Company will be at the Tramlines Fields of Steel Free Street Party at the Moor, with vegan caterers No Bones Jones, and the incredible sounding Yee Kwan Ice Cream. Further afield, Forge Bakehouse (302 Abbeydale Road) providess delicious hangover-fixing breakfasts, while ShyBoy Cantina who operate from the kitchen of The Great Gatsby (73-75 Division Street) serve up the best Mexican food in town. We have our eyes on the pork, kimchi, & sriracha sour cream tacos, and the katsu curry fries. For vegetarians and vegans, why not try Blue Moon Cafe (2 St James Row) for a chilled canteen lunch? Or if it's purely a coffee you're hankering for, try Tamper Coffee (149 Arundel Street) for a taste of New Zealand in the Steel City.
WHERE TO STAY:
45 minutes from Leeds by train, Sheffield has great transport links to our City. However, if you fancy making the most of the goings on and having yourself a mini-break in the meantime, Liberty Living Sheffield offers affordable accommodation in the form of unused student rooms. If you’d prefer to enjoy the great Outdoors of the Peak District, Cotton Star Camping is the perfect place to pitch your tent – a stone’ throw from Sheffield City centre.
HOW DO I BUY TICKETS?
You can purchase tickets at the Wristband Exchange. Day tickets cost £35, Full Weekend Day Only tickets cost £55, while Full Weekend All Day All Night tickets cost £65. After party tickets can be bought for £5 with a wristband.
As of Friday 22nd, we are told they still have a few tickets available, but you may want to check before you travel.