FESTIVAL NEWS: Tramlines Festival opens ‘Apply To Play’ for emerging talent

The annual scheme offers new and undiscovered bands and artists the chance to play at Sheffield’s biggest music festival as Tramlines continues its support of grass roots music talent


Tramlines, Sheffield’s biggest music festival, has announced the opening of this year’s ‘Apply to Play’. The scheme offers a number of paid performance slots to emerging and undiscovered bands and artists from across the UK. Those wishing to play at the 2022 edition of Tramlines can apply via the website at. https://tramlines.org.uk/apply-to-play-now-live/

Taking place at Hillsborough Park from Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th July, Apply To Play is an annual call out. With slots available to play across a variety of stages, Tramlines Festival continues year on year to support and create opportunities for grass root music talent.

With no genre or set-up out of the question, Apply To Play is open to anyone who believes they have what it takes to entertain the music-loving crowd at Tramlines.

Tramlines Operations Director Timm Cleasby said “Discovering new artists has always been at the heart of Tramlines. Walking round the festival and hearing a new sound that just grabs you like when I first heard the angelic voices, Before Breakfast in 2019 is fantastic. It’s great to see August Charles who played through Apply To Play in 2021, booked for this year. We love championing new bands and I can’t wait to find my new favourite artist for 2022.”

Winners are selected by a panel of industry experts, tastemakers and the Tramlines team, and successful applicants will also receive a performance fee.

Winners this year will join a line up including Sam Fender, Kasabian, Madness, The Wombats, James, Declan McKenna, The Vaccines, Sigrid, Becky Hill, Kelis, Alfie Templeman, Jade Bird, Self Esteem and many more.

The deadline for applications is 14th April (direct link to application form, here) and the winners will be notified by 27th May. With the scheme receiving so many amazing entries, unfortunately organisers are unable to respond to each applicant individually.

Notable bands discovered via Apply To Play in past years include Blossoms who later were nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 2017, showing what an important, career-launching platform this can be.

More recently, 2021 Apply To Play winners included August Charles who this year has gone on to receive an official booking by Tramlines to play the T’Other Stage (Stage 2).

And singer-songwriter Rumbi Tauro – also the winner of the ‘Pattern & Push’ vocalist competition endorsed and supported by Toddla T and rapper Coco – who got to meet MOBO Award winner, Mahalia. On the experience, Rumbi said “Being a part of Tramlines was honestly an incredible experience. I got a chance to network with other artists/bands throughout the day, a BBC Radio Sheffield Live interview and a chance to see the logistics of what it’s like performing at a festival. Meeting Mahalia after her set was incredible. She took the time to share some words of wisdom and encouragement that truly inspired me. I really recommend applying because opportunities like ‘Apply to Play’ can open so many doors and give you a real chance to build relationships with industry people.”

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