Tramlines hailed as best festival yet

The Everly Pregnant Brothers perform to a mass crowd at the Fat Cat
The Everly Pregnant Brothers perform to a mass crowd at the Fat Cat
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Organisers and the police reflected this week on the success of the latest Tramlines festival which attracted tens of thousands of music fans.

The introduction of a charge for some events for the first time did not seem to be a deterrent.

And festival director Sarah Nulty said: “I think this has probably been the best Tramlines yet in terms of atmosphere. It’s been an amazing festival.

“It felt like it was a different kind of crowd this year, maybe a bit older, and although we were never rammed on Devonshire Green we had so many people through the gates and most venues were absolutely packed.”

Some festival goers travelled from all over the UK to attend the three day festival featuring more than 500 artists on four outdoors stages and at 60-plus venues.

The main stage was on Devonshire Green, but music could be heard across the city centre and in pubs, bars and clubs and in Weston and Endcliffe Parks.

The ‘Folk Forest’ in Endcliffe Park, accompanied by craft and other stalls, attracted big turnouts, with visitors praising the relaxed atmosphere.

In general, spirits were high for appearances by artists such as Lianne La Havas, Toddla T Sound, The Selecter, B. Traits, Theo Parrish, New Young Pony Club, Shangaan Electro, Fenech Soler, Slow Club, Jim Jones Revue, The Invisible, 2.54, Friends, Rolo Tomassi and Dutch Uncles.

Sarah Nulty said it had been “a truly wonderful event. The fantastic weather on Friday set everyone in a great mood which lasted across the site all weekend. Musically it was a great year for Tramlines with so many talented artists on the bill. Through Tramlines we get to showcase exactly what Sheffield has to offer and we’re very proud of it.”

The loss of headline sponsor Nokia and council funding cuts prompted organisers to sell day tickets at £6 per day and £15 for advanced weekend tickets. Weekend advance tickets sold out in advance along with Friday and Saturday day tickets totalling in excess of 18,500.

Some festival-goers said there had been a lack of information about issues such as not being able to take food and drink onto Devonshire Green and there had been some confusion over the collecting of wrist bands from the City Hall.

There was also a complaint from local business manager Simon Lee who said he had brought a large group of varying ages to the main stage on Sunday and was “disgusted” as they were “surrounded by young, under-age, aggressive, intimidating groups of what can only be described as yobs.

“They had clearly been served copious amounts of alcohol despite being clearly under-age. Following this, they took to picking fights with several groups of people, kicking out at bins, being loud and aggressive and generally spoiling the experience for everybody around them.”

It was down to the paying public to notify security guards, said Mr Lee, who said he would not be attended future festivals.

“This behaviour is not the expectation from a family festival which we are paying to attend.”

South Yorkshire Police praised the overall behaviour of fans during the festival, the fifth, which is thought to have attracted an additional 70,000 visitors to the city.

Supt Shaun Morley said: “The weekend was really enjoyable for everyone involved.

“Dealing with a large number of people entering the city always presents us with a challenge, but by working with the Tramlines organisers, Sheffield City Council and other sponsors, we were able to ensure the safety of everyone concerned with the minimum of disruption to residents.

“Only six arrests were made across the festival, which included two men for causing criminal damage, a third man for a drugs-related offence, two other men for being drunk and disorderly and one man for breaching a dispersal order.”

Supt Morley said there had been seen a reduction in an average weekend’s alcohol-related antisocial behaviour and fewer overall incidents of criminality.