This morning plans were unveiled for Tramlines 2018 which is to be held for the first time in Hillsborough Park, Sheffield, from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July. But before we all get too excited there was to be no lineup announcement …that is to follow next Thursday 6th February at 6pm. Get that in your diaries for sure. Tickets are selling incredibly fast and are available here.
This being the 10th birthday of Tramlines expectations are high and the organisers are keen to show they are going bigger and better than ever with a new look site, the introduction of new stages, surprise collaborations with well-known faces and brands.
The move to Hillsborough Park marks a transition from “an inner city festival to a city-wide festival,” says Festival Director Sarah Nulty. The park is actually on not one but two tram lines from the city centre; a journey of 13 minutes – a location that is fully intentional in order to remain “connected with where we were born,” she says. Though many people may not be familiar with the park it is a fantastic open space very accessible on foot from many Sheffield postcodes and further across the region and will have capacity for 40,000 attendees, although the plan is to create a spacious, family friendly feel with a more traditional on-site, greenfield festival experience. To that end opening hours will be extended earlier in the day, but will still end at 10pm Friday and Saturday and 9pm on the Sunday.
New for 2018 is The Leadmill Stage, curated on alternating days by leading indie venue The Leadmill and local favourite ‘The Reverend’ Jon McClure. The Leadmill will programme an alternative, heritage music offering on Saturday evening whilst the Reverend’s ‘Sunday Service’ takes over the following evening.
Also noticeably new is the addition of comedy. By day, the Leadmill Stage will ‘induce belly laughs via the country’s leading comedy talent,’ programmed by Tramlines in conjunction with The Leadmill.
Also brand new for the 10th year is the Library Stage. With an overarching leftfield vibe, it’s the place to check out contemporary live performances from a variety of emerging talent.
The 10th Tramlines sees the return and expansion of ‘Into The Trees;’ a new area that was introduced in 2017. A ton of kids and family friendly entertainment has been programmed throughout the day, and post 7pm, an exciting bill of party DJs takeover for a night of dancing.
The name of the Main Stage is to be opened up to the public.
Noticeably absent this year is the Folk Forest which has really established such a strong identity for itself that it will continue as a separate entity from Tramlines (but we are reliably informed it will occur in the usual location of Endcliffe Park on the same weekend)
The Organisers are definitely in a confident and ambitious frame of mind and there is a genuine sense of excitement and scale around the Festival this year. I’m very keen to see what the lineup has for us. Whatever your feelings about the evolution of Tramlines it is one of the very best entertainment offerings we have across our region and a significant marker on the UK Festival scene for many reasons, and therefore Sheffield can be rightly proud of what it is and will be in 2018, and the positive knock on effect it will have on the city. There will always be opposition and controversy about the direction the Festival has taken over the years and you will certainly never please everyone with any event like this, but one thing is for certain, it will definitely be an absolutely massive party – certainly the biggest Tramlines yet. The team have worked incredibly hard and I’m looking forward to another hugely successful Sheffield Festival this July.