Tramlines – Worth Every Penny

Ok, let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. This is the first year Tramlines has charged for their core venues. I’ve heard a lot of talk about people not paying this year, but for £15 for the weekend or £6 a day, it’s an absolute bargain. With the advance weekend tickets you get a free program (worth £3) so that means you’re only really paying £12.

Let’s put that in perspective. You could pay around that to see Lianne La Havas, Dog is Dead, Dutch Uncles, Friends etc one their own. What you get for your money is a fantastic weekend of live music and DJs, spread over a whole host of venues. Here are some of the highlights.


This year sees a move away from the more commercial chart acts on the main stage (bye bye Pixie Lott). Whilst there may not be the “big names” as such from other years (who can forget Craig David), the line-up is very strong. On Saturday the wonderful Lianne La Havas tops the bill with great support from Lulu James, Fenech Soler, Friends and Anushka and Dutch Uncles amongst others. I know a lot of people are excited about The Selector headlining on Sunday, but they are joined by Jim Jones Revue, Teleman, Theme Park, The Crookes and Veronica Falls.

The second stage this year moves from Barker’s Pool to the Academy. Saturday is a schmorges board of up and coming indie music with 2:54, New Young Pony Club, PINS, Cheatahs, The Invisible, Menace Beach and Sky Larkin. Sunday ramps up the volume with Rolo Tomassi reprising their traditional headline role along with Tall Ships, The Wyches, This Town Needs Guns, Dog is Dead and Wet Nuns.  It’s a shame it’s no longer in Barker’s Pool, but this is probably the strongest line-up for the second stage since Tramlines began.


There’s been a subtle change in emphasis in the festival this year with much more focus placed on the dance side of things. Incorporated in the core venues are Yellow Arch Studios, The Fez Club, DLS, DQ, Plug and Hope Works. With such a diverse array of music available, there’s something for everyone. A few highlights are:


Ohm Sweet Ohm at Plug – B.Traits, Squarehead, Mella Dee, Geoff Ticehurst

DLS – Dense & Pika

Toddla T’s Sheffield Vs Detroit at Hope Works – Theo Parrish, Maurice Fulton, Forgemasters and Chris Duckenfield


Red Bull Academy at Hope Works – Tensnake, Breach, Koreless, Throwing Snow, Jolly Mare, Squarehead

Debug vs RYAD at The Fez Club – Brawther, Jeremy Underground Paris, Nima Gorji, Alex Arnout

Cooking Pots at Yellow Arch – Swing Lounge

There’s also something a bit special at the Academy on Saturday with Sheffield vs Carnival featuring David Rodigan, Stylo G, Toddla T Sound and especially Dre Skull.

Do try and get some sleep


All the major city music venues are involved again this year, with the emphasis falling on the Leadmill, City Hall Ballroom, Queens Social Club, Corp and the Harley. The highlights are:

Leadmill: King Charles, Swiss Lips, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Johnny Borrell and Zazou, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs, Famous Villains, Ian Skelly and the Serpent Power, The Violet May

Queens Social Club: Summer Camp, Sweet Baboo, Unmade Bed, Slowcoaches, Kappa Gamma

Corporation: Canterbury, Bloody Knees, Back Dogs, Feed the Rhino, Marmozets

Harley: Brolin, Stay +, Public Service Broadcasting, Misty’s Big Adventure, The Heartbreaks, Thomas Truax, Bromheads, John J Presley, Witch Hunt, Department M

City Hall Ballroom: Lanterns on the Lake, Alessi’s Ark, ILIKETRAINS, Maybehewill, Melanie Pain

Academy 2: Weirds, Waylayers, Death Rattle, Castrova ad Blood

Penelope’s: Digitonal, Kimmy Yeah, Firesuite, Smithereens, Alright the Captains


PRISM is back in the Millennium Gallery and this year looks set to be their biggest yet. 65daysofstatic take part in an ambitious audio visual installation and live performance of Sleepwalk City. Loosely inspired by Ezra Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’ and the Imagist manifesto, Sleepwalk City will present a unique and immersive audio-visual experience in the exploring submersion, noise, and the collapse of everything. Taking place throughout Saturday and Sunday, with several live performances every night, it’s sure to be a fascinating experience. There will also be live performances by GREATWAVES, Third Angel and Aches.

Last but not least

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting acts performing at Tramlines this year is South Africa’s Shangaan Electro who will be performing (and hosting a dance class) at the International Peace Gardens on Sunday.  Sheffield is a wonderfully multicultural city and the World Stage has a great selection on Saturday. It’s always a wonderful family day out and this year and free as ever. Check out some of Sheffield’s diverse musical talents including Soukous Revelation, The Verals, K.O.G. and the Allstar Revolution, Jungle Lion and Soulfunkful.

So, what are you bloody waiting for?  If you’re in two minds about getting a ticket, you’d be mad not to. Tramlines is one of the best things that Sheffield has going for it, it’s a small sum to help keep it going.

Weekend tickets are available from here as are £6 day tickets. Day tickets can be picked up from the Harley, Wick at Both Ends, Academy and the City Hall.

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