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  • Sahar Ghadirian

Rock N Roll Circus: 10 Local Acts to Catch Across the Weekend!

The three-day musical-circus-food-and-drink extravaganza, Rock N Roll Circus, is debuting in Sheffield this September with a diverse range of headliners from indie legend Noel Gallagher to homegrown superstar Self Esteem and a closing party from none other than Gatecrasher.


Whilst the festival encompasses big names and plenty of fun activities, there’s a big focus on local talent rising through the ranks that deserve a shoutout. Thanks to the curated line-up by BBC introducing Sheffield, on their very own stage, we’ve compiled 10 of our top local picks for you to catch across the weekend to make you feel extra proud to be a Sheffielder.


Grab a ticket, get down early, and celebrate great music in Sheffield as summer draws to a close. This could well be your final outdoor festival of the year, and as our Sheffield icon Self Esteem has announced, this is her last show of the


Prioritise Pleasure era… and what a whirlwind the last couple of years have been for the artist. Let’s witness a wonderful showcase of up-and-coming stars and discover a new Sheffield obsession at Don Valley Bowl!


1. WEEKEND RECOVERY – @weekend_recovery



Why to see them: Get a glimpse of alt-rock bliss, as championed by BBC Radio 6 Music’s very own Godfather Steve Lamacq. These Sheffield rockers are all about overdriven guitars and straight-talking lyrics that make the perfect combination for any live set.


When: Friday 1st September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: No Guts All The Glory


2. PRECIOUS PEPALA – @preciouspepala


Why to see them: Precious Pepala is nothing short of ethereal. With her poignant and vulnerable subject matter to her powerful high notes, you’re not going to want to miss the latest gem in Sheffield’s pop scene. Since going viral on TikTok, the 18-year-old singer/songwriter has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. From being in the choir at church, singing covers on TikTok, and reaching millions of views across her videos, prepare for a memorable performance.


When: Saturday 2nd September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Voices


3. LOSTBOY



Why to see them: Indie-rock heaven is the best way to describe Lostboy. There’s an urgency in his music that demands you see him live, and luckily for you, you can! Known for his captivating hooks and glossy guitar riffs, the musician brings each song to life through his melodies and dynamic vocals. Get ready to dance!


When: Friday 1st September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Fool


4. OH PAPA – @ohpapamusic


Why to see them: Tune in to soft rock and whispers of California via Sheffield sounds. Oh Papa are here to give you pristine melodies with a touch of soul-bearing, sincere lyricism. You may be standing in Don Valley for this performance, but your mind will be visiting sandy scenes and glistening seas – the perfect escapism.


When: Saturday 2nd September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Magnetic


5. HARRI LARKIN – @harri_larkin


Why to see them: Hot on the heels of headlining The Library Stage at Tramlines this year, what better way to close out Summer than with the gentle vibrancy of Harri Larkin? The trio are full of hope and energy with their jazz-filled melodies and groovy instrumentation. Don’t miss out on a slice of this joy, you won’t regret it!


When: Friday 1st September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Sugar Rush


6. GIA FORD – @gia__ford


Why to see them: Seeing Gia Ford onstage is like a cinematic journey. Dazzling and enigmatic, there are grooves and whispers, echoes and charm through the grunge alt-pop that effortlessly spills from the artist. The melodies are always sharp, and their setlist packs a punch. We suggest you grab a front-row position for this spectacle.


When: Saturday 2nd September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Sleeping In Your Garden


7. THE UNDERGROUND SOUND SOCIETY – @theundergroundsoundsociety


Why to see them: If you’re a fan of blending genres, soul strings and synths, funk grooves and guitar, and the smoothest of falsettos, you need to catch the crooners that are The Underground Sound Society. They like to keep themselves wrapped in mystique (a key component of being underground), so don’t just take our word for it, see what they’re all about for yourself!


When: Friday 1st September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Hangin’ On


8. SISTER WIVES – @sisterwivessisterwives


Why to see them: Are you ready for some post-punk psychedelia? Sister Wives are more than happy to provide. Flitting between the Welsh and English language, the four-piece charm and enchant those lucky to be in their presence. If you’re looking for luscious melodies and hypnotic beats, you know who to see.


When: Saturday 2nd September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Ticking Time Bomb


9. RHIANNON SCUTT – @rhiannonscutt



Why to see them: Boasting soaring vocals, delicate lyrics, and a charismatic stage presence, Rhiannon Scutt is mesmerising. With bright, unique guitar lines and electric melodies, there’s nothing they can’t do. Feel the angst and feel the electricity once Rhiannon graces the stage.


When: Saturday 2nd September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Stevie


10. MOCK TUDORS – @mocktudors


Why to see them: Describing themselves as “DIY garage punk,” the Mock Tudors are a Sheffield trio like no other. With witty, narrative-driven lyrics and punchy melodies, they have a unique ability to combine a power-pop knack for a hook that will leave you flawed. And we certainly can’t rave enough about their stage presence, forever subverting the excesses of glam.


When: Friday 1st September on the BBC Introducing Stage


Track to get you started: Self Assessment


BONUS - ARCTIC NUMPTIES – @arcticnumpties


Why to see them: We couldn’t end this list without giving a nod to South Yorkshire’s best tribute to Arctic Monkeys. Having already supported (and performed with!) Self Esteem back at her O2 Academy show in March, the singer’s admiration for the band is infectious, and for valid reasons as you'll see for yourselves. Close your eyes, and it’s the real thing!


When: Saturday 2nd September on the Main Stage


Track to watch out for: They’ll blow you away with their cover of “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,” because those high notes aren’t easy to execute! But whether they’re playing “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” or the new tracks from The Car, they’ve got the range for it all.


Rock N Roll Circus will host some of the freshest new acts at Don Valley Bowl, and this is your chance to be in the presence of future Sheffield rock stars.


Tickets are available to purchase here, but don’t wait too long to get them, as they’re on their way to selling out! Whatever ticket you get, prepare to shout about Sheff with our amazing homegrown talent.




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