Tramlines credit Carolina Faruolo

Licence review: Tramlines agree to pay £50k fee over five years for Hillsborough Park improvements

Sheffield City Council has given Tramlines Festival the green light to continue taking place at Hillsborough Park.

The city-based music festival – owned by Superstruct and delivered by Method Events – has taken place in Hillsborough Park since 2018, when the initial licence was granted.

In 2023, heavy rain turned the park into a mud bath and the festival faced criticism from residents.

Following a comprehensive review of the licence agreement at a council committee meeting on March 4, the festival’s organisers have agreed to a fee schedule, which will help protect the park from damage.

As part of the agreement, £10,000 of the annual fee for Tramlines will be used to improve, replace, or install equipment or facilities to advance the park. At the meeting, it was stressed that this money should be used to make improvements and not for routine maintenance, so park users can see the benefits of holding the festival in Hillsborough Park.

Councillor Ian Auckland, chair of the Charity Trustee Sub-Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “Tramlines Festival bring enormous benefits to the city and is enjoyed and celebrated by many.

“However, it is crucial that we protect our parks and it’s great to see that we have revised our licence agreement to reflect this. We want Hillsborough Park to be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come. Whether that is by festivalgoers, or the local people who use the park every other day of the year.

“Importantly the committee made the decision that holding Tramlines supported the park’s charitable objectives.”

The festival has been hugely successful and in a report to the Charity Trustee Sub-Committee, the contribution the festival makes to building Sheffield’s brand and reputation was outlined.

Festival organisers have worked hard to ensure Tramlines benefits both Hillsborough residents and the wider community since it moved to the park. This has been done through a number of initiatives, including fundraising for local charities and donating tickets to residents in the area.

Hillsborough Park has been cited as the only city park with the capacity to host an event of this size and nature, with the main field being able to host an audience of around 35,000.

If the festival was not to take place at Hillsborough, it would have to move out of the city all together.

The full committee report can be read here.

Image: Carolina Faruolo