Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival to go ahead at full capacity in latest stage of government pilot scheme

Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival is set to go ahead at full capacity next month for the third stage of the government’s Events Research Programme.

The ERP has seen audiences attend a weekend of events in Liverpool, the BRIT Awards and Download Festival to investigate the safety of large crowds returning to events after the coronavirus pandemic.

A sold-out crowd will now descend on Sheffield’s Hillsborough Park from July 23-25 to enjoy headline sets from the likes of Royal Blood, The Streets and Richard Ashcroft.

To gain entry, ticket-holders must provide a negative COVID test result from a lateral flow test taken within the previous 48 hours, or proof of full vaccination with the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the festival.

Tramlines Operations Director Timm Cleasby said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm that Tramlines 2021 is going ahead, having accepted the government’s invitation to join the Events Research Programme. This means we have a proven framework to follow, which at previous events has shown that festivals can be enjoyed at
no more risk than other activities.

“Once inside, there will be no need for social distancing and no one will have to wear a mask if they don’t want to. We would like to express our solidarity with those festivals which have not been able to go ahead this year and those which are still seeking clarity.
It is very important to us that clear guidance is made available quickly to the
entire event community so that as many festivals as possible can go ahead
with confidence this summer.

“Huge ticket sales across the sector show how keen fans are to come to our events and we want to help reassure them that we can welcome them back safely.”

All ticket holders will be contacted by Tramlines’ event ticketing partner Gigantic via email by Thursday 1st July with further details.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “I know how desperately people want to get back to festivals, which is why they’re a hugely important part of our Events Research Programme.

“As we continue to work towards live events reopening fully on July 19th, this year’s Tramlines festival will provide more vital scientific evidence and allow us to trial Covid certification, building on what we’ve learnt from our successful Sefton Park and Download events.”

The Tramlines announcement comes after it was confirmed last week that Latitude Festival will also go ahead at full capacity next month as part of the ERP.

Data from the first stage of the ERP was published last week and confirmed that just 28 people who attended pilot events researching the impact of large-scale gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic tested positive for the virus.

Taken from a weekend of events in Liverpool, the BRIT Awards and sporting events such as the FA Cup final, it is in addition to initial results first shared last month.

It followed industry figures criticising the government for failing to publish the full results of more recent COVID event pilots, such as Download Festival and Ascot, or providing festivals with insurance, which would help get live entertainment back on its feet safely.