Welcome to Sheftival – from the Festival Director
What would happen if Tramlines did the Olympics? Okay, so I’m the Festival Director of Sheftival but our music arena is hosted by Tramlines. This seems a strange question, it took us a few weeks to get our heads round the idea. Once we did, we knew it had to be a winner, especially when our partner was Sheffield International Venues (SIV) – home to 1 in 7 of the Olympic athletes and some incredible training facilities.
Let me talk you through the process of creating Sheftival.
The last event held on Don Valley Bowl – The Arctic Monkeys, converted the bowl into a cute little mini festival site – and it worked. So the Tramlines Arena was obvious for Sheftival – packed with great music, food, drink, fairgrounds, markets, stages and sports.
The Olympic Games free viewing screen at Sheftival had to go in Don Valley Stadium – that was a no brainer. It’s going to be packed with a dizzying array of sports activities to watch or join in with. SIV also operate the English Institute of Sport – Sheffield (EISS) and Ice Sheffield, so we wanted to encompass these into the festival site too. With the superb facilities on offer at the EISS we decided to add in even more ‘have-a-go’ sports activities, and iceSheffield would offer free ice-skating to all ticket holders.
And then we walked the rest of the Don Valley site. It’s beautiful, packed with nooks and crannies, a jetty, picnic spots and acres of space where our ‘town centre’ will boast markets, bars and a nightclub/dance tent.
When Tramlines takes over Sheffield City Centre, we measure its success in two ways.
Firstly, by the mood it creates seeing the whole community come out, join in and smile.
And secondly, by how well we get people wandering the site, discovering new things, and falling in love with previously unknown bands.
Sheftival is the same in my opinion. But now we are transported to a beautiful edge of town sporting facility with endless amounts of space. It should be a bit less hectic than Tramlines, a bit less crowded and a bit more family friendly, but at the same time it will still cater for the Tramliners. Once again, we expect the people of South Yorkshire to show the world why we have the warmest, friendliest parties.
What other way could this amazing region celebrate the Olympics? A wandering, goodwill festival to pay homage to our own sporting heroes like Jess Ennis, bringing home Gold.
That is what would happen if Tramlines did the Olympics. See you there!
Our top tips:
- Arrive early and stay late. There’s loads to do!
- Wander the site. Its jam packed with hidden treasures and weird and wonderful things.
- Make sure you see at least one band you have never heard of and if you can, take a trip on the Buskers Barge. Check out the Jetty Side and the Jamaican Jerk BBQ.
- Double the time you think everything will take and don’t stress about missing stuff.
- Check out the sports activities – there are tournaments to watch and stuff to try, whether you are the world’s least or most active person.
- Cheer on Jess in the stadium – her last event is at 8.40pm on Saturday, it should be a nail biter.
- Check out the food on site – there is a wide range of cuisine at affordable prices.
- Join the carnival parade on Sunday, and get ready for it in the Sharrow Festival Family Village by creating your own costume.
- Try out the drummers’ workshops, get in the boxing ring and spar with a pro.
- If you are feeling really brave, then join the foam party in iceSheffield
- Leave your glass and booze at home and support the traders. They have invested in the festival, which is how the ticket price is so low.
- Be nice to people. As our favourite Tramlines sign had it last weekend.