Nat Johnson at Tramlines 2010 and performing this year on Saturday night at the cathedral
Making the most of a weekend of free live music
So Sheffield’s busiest weekend of the year is here in the form of Tramlines. If you haven’t already then have a look at the listings to find out who is performing and when.
There are 70 venues so there is plenty to see, however it is likely that some will be running at capacity during busy periods and for the most popular bands.
My advice based on previous years would be to get there in plenty of time and be prepared to queue to get in. In the past, when one band finished playing, lots of people would leave the venue, giving other people the opportunity to move inside and get a good spot for the next one.
Remember that the festival isn’t just based around Devonshire green. The Tramlines footprint for 2011 is even bigger than last year, and the list of participating venues stretches as far as Heeley, Greystones, Sharrow vale and Kelham island. This should help spread the crowds out and ensure that you get see your share of live music.
If you use Twitter then keep an eye on the #TramlinesTraffic hash tag. The organisers will be using it to keep people updated about the queues and business of venues and they are hoping that people will join in to keep everyone informed.
Busker bus at Tramlines 2010
Finally, if you haven’t been on the busker bus then you have missed out. As well as being a practical (and free) means of getting around, it is a venue in itself, with a programme of acoustic and unplugged performances running Saturday and Sunday.
Last year I overheard one old couple on there sat behind me discussing whether they should go round and do another circuit of the city. They were loving it.
You won’t have heard of every artist playing, but nearly every major genre of music must be catered for at some point over the weekend. And it isn’t just about seeing big bands: for me it is as much about mooching around town, stumbling upon some new music and supporting what is becoming one of the most high-profile events in Sheffield’s calendar.
The weather forecast looks OK, so have fun and soak up the atmosphere on the one weekend of the year when Sheffield feels like a completely different place compared to at any other time of year.
Shake Aletti at Tramlines 2010 and appearing on Saturday at the Harley