Tramlines 2010 is underway

Music festival kicks off in style

Town was really packed last night with the opening night of Tramlines and I’m sure tonight will be even busier.

Most of the venues were at capacity, with people queuing outside. So if there is a band you really want to see then get there in plenty of time and allow for a bit of a wait to get inside.

Have fun!

Tramlines 2010 information

The Crookes at the Grapes

The Crookes at the Grapes last night

Tramlines festival – Sheffield music city 2010

Tramlines 2010

Tramlines 2010

23-25 July 2010

Our biggest musical weekend of the year, Sheffield music city, will soon be upon us. And the main part of that weekend will once again be the Tramlines festival.

Last year’s Tramlines was really good. The atmosphere around town was pretty special and even if you aren’t a music fan, it is worth popping down the the city centre over the weekend just to get a feel for what is going on.

As well as the big acts on the main stage, there are lots of smaller events happening at venues all over the city. The great thing is that it is a free festival and you do not need tickets for  events. You may have to queue up to get in to some venues or areas, but I think the plan is to have a one-in-one-out policy this year.

There have been various announcements regarding the line-up, and apparently there will be more news about who is playing on Monday.

For now, I’ve listed some of the information sources for the latest festival information:
Tramlines website. Should include full listings
Facebook page for Tramlines festival
Twitter feed for main Tramlines festival
Hallam FM Tramlines page. Hallam FM is helping organise acts for the main stage
Hallam FM Twitter account
Tramlines MySpace page
Tramlines page
Tramlines YouTube channel
Sheffield music city Facebook group – doesn’t seem to be updated much though
Sheffield music city/Tramlines listing on Event Sheffield website

Anyone know if they are producing a paper brochure/programme this year?

A reminder of last year’s festival:

Sheffield Pride 2010

Saturday 26 June, Endcliffe park

Just a reminder that today sees Sheffield Pride 2010 take place in Endcliffe park. This is the third year that the city has hosted a major Pride event and it continues to grow. With the weather looking good, there is no reason why this year’s won’t be the biggest yet. Entry is free.

The event runs from 1-7pm, however there are various after-parties continuing into the night at venues including Affinity, Lions lair, Penelope’s, Sanctuary and Club xes.

Sheffield Pride 2010

Sheffield Pride 2009

Sheffield Pride 2009 by incurable_hippie on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons licence

Sheffield music festivals in 2010

How many will we see in Sheffield this year?

The first Sheffield music city/Tramlines festival was a generally seen as a big success and last month’s announcement regarding both the scale and line up for the 2010 festival hint that this year’s could be even better.

However, Tramlines is not the only music festival happening in Sheffield in 2010. As well as the Sensoria event in the spring, meetings and discussions have been taking place since early in the year about an alternative music festival, organised by and for Sheffield people.

It seems that this alternative festival could be run as a not-for-profit venture where any money made would be put into some sort of Sheffield music trust. Discussions on the Facebook group that was set up have also included debate about whether it should be a completely independent event or form part of a Tramlines fringe festival. After a burst of activity, the group has gone a bit quiet in the last couple of months.

As well as the talk of this independent festival, last October the Sheffield Telegraph reported that talks were being held with a national promoter with a view to running a weekend festival at a location on the edge of the city. This would be a complementary festival to the Tramlines event.

If this was going ahead I’m guessing we would have heard more about it by now.

Can anyone shed any light on whether an alternative festival is still in the offing for 2010 and also what came of the discussions regarding the other big festival?

Tramlines festival 2009: the documentary

Highlights from last summer’s music festival

This was plugged on the Facebook Tramlines fan page earlier:

This year’s event takes place 23-25 July.

Sheffield on Twitter – March 2010 update

Twitter latest

Here are this month’s additions to the list of Sheffield people and organisations of interest on  Twitter. The full directory can be found on the Sheffield Twitter users page.

There is also a Twitter list of people and organisations in Sheffield in Twitter.

Seven hills – 21st century women’s institute

Showroom cinema

Manor operatic

Sheffield volunteering strategy

Pure ink creative – website copywriters

Sort of… films – film production company

Peace in the park – annual free festival

The Harlequin – pub

MM design – design agency

Resolve IT solutions

Jinja beard – fashion blog

R8 records – record label

Gem directories – advertising

Jam jar beads – bead shop

No limits – student film festival

TransAction – translation services

Beatson fans and motors

Small ideas – university alternative music society

Aim higher

Brinsworth training

Ian Britt – singer/songwriter

Weekend at last – charity events

Copthorne gym

Sloucher – online magazine

Sam Needham – artist, designer and photographer

No vote no voice – campaign to influence students to use their vote

CRM business – Microsoft CRM specialist

Star professional solutions – recruitment

Bravura perform – sales and marketing

James Whitworth – cartoonist and writer

Lucid landscapes – landscape architecture and graphic design

Joe Whittaker – web design

Diane Shipley – freelance journalist

Sheff boot camps – indoor circuit training

If you want to be listed on it then follow @sheffieldblog, get in touch or comment below.

Sheffield – city of culture 2013?

The city’s culture debate

A free event is taking place this month at the City hall which will see a panel discuss what makes a city a great cultural destination and why is culture important:

As Sheffield bids to become the first UK city of culture 2013, we bring together a diverse panel of national and international cultural figures to discuss the role of culture in defining a city – both in Sheffield and on an international scale.

The line-up currently includes Jon McClure from Reverend and the makers, Emmy award-winning Jamaican writer and poet Kwame Dawes, the BBC’s Paulette Edwards, Museums Sheffield chair Sandra Newton and Mark Jones, founder of Wall of sound record label. There will be a Q&A afterwards, as well as an acoustic set from the Reverend.

I’m guessing that the outcomes of this debate may go on to inform the detail of our city of culture bid, should we make the shortlist. Last week, a Sheffield Telegraph article gave an indication of some of the creative and cultural assets on which our bid would be based:

  • the foundations laid by Sheffield theatres, the Museums and galleries trust and Sheffield international venues
  • the city’s festivals – including a possible new festival centre in a landmark location
  • our creative population (7.2% of the workforce), including the digital economy and independent film
  • mass participation events based on ideas from the people of the city
  • established and emerging music artists performing gigs in unusual locations
  • a possible resident orchestra for of Sheffield
  • a base for visual arts

If shortlisted, does Sheffield have a good chance of becoming the UK’s first city of culture? I’d say we have more chance than Barnsley but I wonder whether some of the culture that Sheffield does best is perhaps not mainstream enough to appeal to the panel that will decide.

For example, I know many people who enjoy the Kid acne artwork around town and the word-of-mouth gig and club nights, but is this the sort of thing they will be looking for? Or will the lottery-funded cultural facilities remain the cornerstone of our bid? The likes of the Millennium galleries undoubtedly make Sheffield a better city but I can’t help thinking the heart and soul of the city’s cultural scene is to be found elsewhere.

Hopefully the ‘ideas from the people of the city’ project would help ensure that our bid does indeed capture the full breadth of Sheffield’s cultural offering, both traditional and non-traditional.

The 14 bids on the table are due to be whittled down to a shortlist of five by Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, free tickets for the Culture debate event are available from the City hall box office.

The culture debate - Sheffield

The culture debate - Sheffield

Sheffield and Meadowhall Christmas TV ads

Selling shopping

The council and Meadowhall have made adverts for the Christmas season.

Brace yourselves for the coach-loads of Londoners descending on the Moor to finish their Christmas shopping.

Grin up north 2009

England’s biggest comedy festival (1-31 October 2009)

In a previous post I picked out some of the highlights from this year’s Off the shelf festival of reading and writing. Running during the same month is Grin up north comedy festival, so you are sure to find something to brighten up the autumn evenings as the nights pull in.

Again, I asked a comedy writer friend what they recommend from this year’s festival:

  • Grini up north 2009Rhod Gilbert (Lyceum, Sunday 4 October) is excellent – definitely worth seeing this year’s show (click on the ‘review’ section) as his last one was brilliant
  • Alun Cochrane (Lescar, Saturday 31 October, Lescar) is highly recommended (click on the ‘review’ section)
  • Lady Garden (City hall Memorial hall, Thursday 8 October) are a entertaining 6-piece female sketch group
  • Tom Wrigglesworth (City hall Memorial hall, Thursday 1 October) was nominated for the Edinburgh comedy award and lots of friends who saw him said he was great
  • Tim Minchin (City hall Oval hall, Saturday 17 October) is very good musical comedy – a bit Bill Baily-ish
  • Also Simon Amstell (City hall Oval hall, Sunday 18 October) and Rich Hall (City hall Memorial hall, Tuesday 13 October) are always very good

From a Sheffield point of view, the legendary John Shuttleworth performing his Southern softies show will be a real treat (Showroom, Wednesday 21 October) and BBC Sheffield’s breakfast show presenter and regular Last laugh/Lescar performer Toby Foster is booked for a show at the City hall Oval hall on Thursday 15 October.

The line-ups for both festivals look good this year and I hope to go to events at each. It did make me wonder whether it would be mutually beneficial to move one of the festivals to November in order to avoid any clash of dates and spread out the entertainment for a full two months?

Off the shelf Sheffield 2009

The festival of reading and writing (10-31 October 2009)

Two of the city’s biggest cultural festivals return this autumn and by the look of the programmes, the line-ups this year are better than ever.

Off the shelf is 18 years old and features the usual selection of readings, workshops, exhibitions, storytelling, talks, walks and poetry. Looking over the festival programme, I’d defy anyone to find something that wasn’t of interest. Here are my picks:

  • Martin Bedford – an illustrated talk from the artist behind the iconic Leadmill poster artwork of the 1980s and 1990s, plus highly-tipped Sheffield band the Crookes are also playing
  • Vic Reeves – an insight into the mind of the comedian as he takes you through his latest book, a surreal encyclopaedia called Vic Reeves’ vast book of world knowledge
  • Peter Hook – Hooky, whose distinctive basslines were at the heart of both New order and Joy division’s distinctive sound tells the story of infamous Manchester nightclub the Hacienda. He is DJing afterwards too (hopefully not just pretending)
  • Stuart Maconie – broadcaster and writer who passed through Sheffield for his Pies and prejudice: in search of the north book and may further expand on his evaluation of the city, which was basically that we produce great pop music but bad pop music museums
  • Tony Benn – even if you don’t agree with his politics, you can be sure that the former Chesterfield MP will spark plenty of debate and perhaps offer insight into how Sheffield has changed from the socialist stronghold that it was for so long
  • Marina Lewycka – local author and Sheffield Hallam university who shot to fame with her debut novel A short history of tractors in Ukranian and I expect will be reading from her new book, We are all made of glue

The festival website is much improved this year (compared to last year’s token putting the festival programme online as a PDF) and there is a Twitter feed for the event, @otsfestival.

I’ll look at the picks from Grin up north in my next post.