Sarah makes Tramlines a hit

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Sarah makes Tramlines a hit

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Now in its ninth year, Tramlines music festival has become an established part of the city of Sheffield's fabric - much like the tram-tracks from which it takes its name. 

Sheffield Hallam University alumna and Tramlines festival director, Sarah Nulty, promises that this year's festival will be bigger and better than ever, welcoming more than 200 artists to Sheffield, from exciting emerging talent alongside a genre-busting selection of big name acts.

Primal Scream, All Saints and The Libertines will head up the massive line up - providing a very welcome throwback for many festival goers, whose university days were sound tracked by the likes of "Never Ever" and "Don't Look Back into the Sun". 

For the first time in the festival's history, all official stages will be held outdoors across three venues; Ponderosa Park, Devonshire Green and Endcliffe Park. 

We caught up with Sarah to find out about her journey since graduation and about the decision to take the festival outdoors and into the fresh air. 

You're an alumna of Sheffield Hallam. What did you study and how did you find your time here?

I studied sociology and graduated in 2002. I loved my time at Hallam, I met some great people during my time at University and made some friends for life. Sheffield is such a great city, especially for students. It's got such a buzz about the place and it's no lie that the people here are some of the nicest you'll ever meet. I liked it so much I decide to stay and work here and I think that's the case for most Sheffield graduates.

How did Hallam equip you to become the festival director and make Tramlines such a success?

Going to University was great for my confidence building and for meeting new people. It was at University that I was able to meet people who were into the same music as me and had a similar mind-set. It was also great for networking and I think that's what led me into this industry. 

What impact do you think Tramlines has had on the city?

I think it's the biggest weekend Sheffield sees in terms of footfall. It has become more than just the festival itself - it's become one giant weekend party that impacts the area far beyond the city centre. It's a great boost for traders especially during the summer when the city normally finds itself quiet because of the lack of students. 

What role do Sheffield Hallam students play in helping to bring Tramlines to life?

The students are invaluable! They play an integral part to the operations over the weekend. They do a variety of roles, including customer focused event management roles, photography, videography and journalism. Hallam students that initially volunteered during the early days of Tramlines now hold posts within the festival. This year we're really excited about the Hallam Shuttle Bus - a refreshed version of the Buskers Bus, which is back after popular demand! The bus will connect the main stage at Ponderosa to Endcliffe Park and will include acts and bands programmed and managed by Sheffield Hallam students. 

This is the first year that the O2 and The Leadmill are not official Tramlines stages, what made you decide to bring the festival outdoors this year?

After last year, the overwhelming feedback was that people wanted to see bigger acts on the Tramlines stages. By streamlining Tramlines to three outdoor stages, it’s meant we could deliver something really special. Sheffield is often hailed as an ‘Outdoor City’, and has a ton of public parks, and a third of it sits within the Peak District - so why not take advantage of this?

What’s been your highlight of Tramlines so far?

Public Enemy in 2015 were incredible. They were the biggest act we had ever booked. The sun was shining and I had lots of my friends return to Sheffield for the weekend. It felt like we had truly made a success of it.   

Who would be your dream booking?

Prince was always the dream. But now I would love the Arctic Monkeys to play, not necessarily because they're my dream booking but because I think it's Sheffield's. 

What can we expect from Tramlines in the future?

It's our tenth birthday next year so we would really like to do something special to celebrate that. It's all top secret at the moment!

This is the third year Sheffield Hallam University have been a sponsor of Tramlines music festival. Our involvement helps to provide students with the unrivalled opportunity to work on a large scale cultural event. We'll be around throughout the weekend, so look out for Sheffield Hallam festival freebies and enter our competition to win a pair of Snapchat spectacles.

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