Many residents in Hillsborough are concerned about the current re-entry policy for the Tramlines Festival. I share these concerns and have written to the Tramlines team calling on them to change this policy.
Plain text version:
Dear Tramlines Team,
Re-Entry to the Tramlines Festival
I am writing ahead of the Tramlines Festival in Hillsborough Park on 22 – 24 July 2022 as I have heard from a significant number of residents who are concerned about this policy and am writing to express my concerns about this. I have set out my reasoning below.
The Tramlines Festival was established to showcase the rich music talent in Sheffield, as a local councillor at the time I was proud to support the festival to make sure our city had a space to celebrate this talent and attract big names. As a city we are very proud of the way the festival has grown.
A large scale urban music festival causes disruptions to those who live nearby. However, most residents accept these disruptions because of many advantages that the festival brings to the local area. They know that many of their neighbours enjoy the weekend, and they value the boost it brings to the local economy.
I worry that the removal of re-entry to the venue undermines this. It is only fair to residents that the disadvantages of a major event taking place in their neighbourhood is balanced with advantages.
I am particularly concerned for the impact this will have on local businesses, who welcomed the festival to the area with open arms based on the understanding that festival goers would be likely to support local shops, pubs, bars, and cafes. In Hillsborough, these are largely small businesses who will have felt the pressures of the COVID pandemic more than most.
Another issue that has been raised with me is the impact on families with young children. Previously, many would take their children in the day, leave to fulfil childcare arrangements, and then return at the evening to enjoy the rest of the festival. With the current policy in place, there is no option for them to do this.
I understand that you have stated to residents that the decision to retain this policy is based on advice from the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). I have made enquiries with the Council and have been assured that while the SAG unanimously agreed with this policy, they have no powers to impose this advice on you. The decision therefore is at the festival’s discretion.
Hillsborough residents have welcomed Tramlines to the area, they have taken pride in hosting the festival and have enjoyed seeing headline acts in their local park. The festival was established as a community festival to celebrate music in our city. I would strongly encourage you to reconsider this decision and to work with residents to ensure that the festival is mutually beneficial to you and those living in the area.
Gill Furniss MP
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough
Shadow Minister for Roads