The Sheffield-focussed Tramlines festival delivered everything from big sing-a-longs in fields to chilled-out vibes in marquees.
Tramlines Festival 2016 took the Steel City by storm
Since it began in 2009, Tramlines has grown in force every year, consistently showcasing the big guns of the music industry right down to the local heroes and everything in between. Starting off as a free event, the festival has now introduced paid weekend tickets that allow access to main stage areas, while punters can still relish in a smorgasbord of free music around the city.
Over at legendary venue that is The Leadmill, all sorts of delights took place. The Enemy conquered Friday night with what was their last set in the city – sweaty group chants, cups of mystery liquid being hurled and general chaos provided the perfect send off for the indie rock veterans. A similar situation occurred when local heroes Milburn announced a secret set on the Saturday night, proceeding to pack the place out and shake the building.
The University Arms proved to be something of a watering hole for all things heavy across the weekend, with the likes of God Damn and Deep Valley gracing (or rather, dominating) the stage (tent) situated at one end of a fairly small beer garden – to sit in its presence made ears bleed, eyes water and heads mosh. A festival essential.
Local boys The Crookes took the O2 Academy by storm with a set bursting with irresistible dance pop that proved that indie guitar rock and solid songwriting is not going anywhere; the crowd singing along to every word surely agreed.
Back over at the Main Stage, Little Comets and Hinds were two major high points from the weekend, both pulling in big crowds on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Hinds have earned a reputation with their lo-fi bubblegum indie pop and brought it out in full force for the keen people of Tramlines, despite having had to borrow equipment due to a luggage mishap on a recent flight. Little Comets also delivered, bringing their own brand of alternative indie to the festival, with long-time admirer Van McCann singing along from the side of the stage.
The Peace Gardens provided those without a ticket the chance to see some great music. Local all-girl group The Seamonsters won the hearts of onlookers by filling the area with feel-good soft rock vibes on Sunday afternoon. The city centre was buzzing with funfairs, street entertainment and wonderfully decorated elephant statues.
Catfish and the Bottlemen were undoubtedly a highlight, closing the festival on Sunday with a blistering set on the Main Stage, exuding solid energy for an hour to an adoring crowd seemingly consisting of as many inflatable crocodiles as people. On stage, Van McCann and co stuck with their foolproof no-nonsense balls to the wall approach, and now with two albums under their belt, they had plenty of material to choose from. Newer songs from this year’s ‘The Ride’ such as ‘7’ and ‘Twice’ pulled their weight on the stage with their massive choruses and bombarding drums, while live staples such as ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Cocoon’ went down an absolute storm.
Tramlines has kept its well-deserved spot as one of the best medium-sized festivals around in the UK at the moment, with a style of music for everyone and retaining a family friendly atmosphere and all at a very modest price.