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  • Matt Codd

Apply To Play Returns and 2024 Tickets Sold Out: The Latest News From Tramlines

Tramlines 2023. Photography by CFaruolo

Tramlines 2023 was an... interesting weekend. The festival itself was a joy with an impressive lineup and performances that we at Sheffield Magazine still reminisce on to this day. The incredible slate of inclusive and local food vendors was unmatched also, with food, drink, shops and, of course, Hendo's. However the weekend was largely overshadowed by the weather. The festival was turned into a mudbath after being subjected to around a month's worth of rainfall over the weekend.

The cleanup operation has been ongoing ever since, returning Hillsborough Park to it's glory after it was churned up over the course of the festival. Now, the park has reopened - renewed and repaired for the forthcoming spring and summer.

Despite the challenges faced, Tramlines still delivered a fantastic weekend for all who went and, as a result, tickets for the 2024 edition have had to be taken off sale already to cope with demand, before a single act has even been announced. For those lucky enough to secure their tickets, we now eagerly await any sort of news as to who will be coming to the Steel City to perform this July.

As a festival that prides itself on being a springboard for emerging local talent, it will be no surprise that the Apply To Play Scheme is returning this year. The news follows hot on the heels of Tramlines winning the award for 'Best Festival for Emerging Talent' at the UK Festival Awards. Tramlines offers so many opportunities to new artists with Apply to Play, The Leadmill curated lineup on their own stage and The Library Stage offering a home for the weekend for many local up and comers as well.

Apply to Play is quite possibly the jewel in the crown though, propelling countless artists on their journey if they win, but even if they aren't successful, they gain exposure that may otherwise have been off limits. The judges for this year include BBC Introducing, This Feeling and Waterbear Music College, with the overall winner being picked by Radio X's new music guru John Kennedy. So even without winning, entrants get themselves onto the radar of some incredible outlets.

The 2024 winner of Apply to Play will receive a paid performance slot at Tramlines Festival 2024 and the opportunity to perform at Truck (Oxfordshire), Y Not (Derbyshire) and Victorious Festival (Portsmouth). The winner will also receive industry support from John Kennedy (Radio X), media interviews with new talent advocate Shell Zenner on Amazing Radio, plus Rock Revival and Exposed Magazine, £500 worth of studio time at Pirate Studios and a performance opportunity at the ‘This Feeling’ Industry Showcase. The rewards are not just there for the winner either, in fact all finalists will win a paid slot at Tramlines 2024 and £100 credit at Pirate Studios as well. 

2023 winners Harri Larkin smashed their headline set on The Library Stage last year. Following the news they said, "Winning the Tramlines competition has given us a massive career boost in and outside of Sheffield, headlining a stage at Tramlines is a great talking point when applying for gigs. We made loads of contacts off the back of our summer of festivals. Part of the prize was the opportunity to play a showcase for ‘This Feeling’ in London. We brought our A game and ended up being one of their “Big in 2024” picks leading to further festival and showcase opportunities in 2024”.

Tramlines 2023. Photography by CFaruolo

Any band or artist who would like to apply for 2024 has until 5pm Sunday 10th March to apply via the Tramlines website!

Away from the music, Tramlines also recently confirmed that over £57,000 of funding has been granted to 27 local initiatives, with over half of that being donated to the Hillsborough area to encourage development in the home of Tramlines.

Money was raised across the year via ticket donations and at the festival with a charity collaboration beer brewed by Brewdog named ‘AYE PA’, guest list donations, bar donations, charity merch, Lidl’s ‘Bubbles & Bangers’, Nulty’s backstage bar (named in honour of the late Festival Director, Sarah Nulty) and a charity raffle hosted after the event. Those that have benefitted from the funding include Sheffield Cycling 4 All, Hillsborough Hornets Diability FC, RivelinCo, ADIRA, Grow UK, Peaks of Colour, Odd Child Productions and The Leadmill's Studio Orchestra to name just a few.

Applications will be open for the next round of funding in Spring 2024. More information can again be found on the Tramlines website.

Outside of funding grants, Tramlines continues to donate tickets to the festival to the Tickets For Good charity who provide event tickets to NHS staff, charity workers and those heavily affected by the cost of living crisis. Tickets have also been distributed to Sheffield Young Carers, allowing them to attend alongside those they care for.

Tramlines 2023. Photography by CFaruolo

But that's all of the news surrounding Sheffield's premier event that we know of. Now all we can do is wait, impatiently, for news of the lineup. Here at Sheff Mag HQ, we've been trying our best to guess anyone who may be performing, but have gotten absolutely nowhere... All we do know is that we can't wait!


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