‘I forgot Covid existed’: What it was actually like to go to Tramlines Festival 2021
‘Everyone was so hyped and ready to be back’
After a long year and a half, Covid restrictions were finally removed on 19 July. Not only did this allow West Street to reopen its doors to the public without social distancing measures, it saw Tramlines Festival return to Sheffield too.
This weekend, thousands trekked to Hillsborough Park to see their favourite artists and bands perform at Tramlines 2021. As part of a Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), the event had Covid policies in place requiring all festival goers to show proof of a negative lateral flow test or a double vaccination on entrance.
The Sheffield Tab spoke to students who attended this year’s Tramlines Festival to see what it was really like going to one of the first restriction-free events:
Jack, Uni of Sheff
Jack had lots to say about his Tramlines experience: “It was great to be back seeing live music after we had been kept away from it for so long. I loved watching my girlfriend play in Before Breakfast with their intimate stories and soaring harmonies.
“The atmosphere for the whole Saturday was electric – lots of people partying, dancing and even moshing without a worry about restrictions.”
He told The Sheff Tab that at first it was overwhelming but, he felt safe because “the majority of people there had both vaccines and you had to register a negative Covid pass to get in.”
Eleanor, Sheffield Hallam
Eleanor told The Sheff Tab that she too felt very safe at Tramlines and described it as being just like the “old” normal: “For me personally, I felt safe as I had previously contracted Covid a few weeks prior, and so had immunity.
“There were times when I thought about Covid, but due to the fast pace of the festival, I would say it was quickly forgotten about.”
Thomas, Uni Of Sheff
“In terms of Covid, it hardly crossed my mind to be honest. It felt like things were almost back to normal bar the odd mask. The fact that everyone had to have proof of a negative test or full vaccination was good peace of mind.
“Overall, it was a fantastic weekend and I hope it’s the start of better times for Sheffield and the rest of the country. The acts were absolutely incredible, especially Royal Blood.”
Freya, Uni Of Sheff
Freya told The Sheff Tab she was quite anxious about going to Tramlines: “Obviously after 18 months of social distancing and lockdowns, thoughts of Covid don’t just disappear over night. The week prior I was very excited, but then I got quite anxious the day before going.
“However, after the first act I saw at Tramlines, it all felt relatively normal again. I think it’s just one of those things where you just get into the spirit of things and enjoy yourself after what has been a long year and a half .”
She continued to tell The Sheff Tab that she felt safer at Tramlines than in a night club due to the fact that it was “outdoors” and that “their was space to distance yourself from large crowds if needed.”
Freya struggled to choose a favourite part of the weekend and said she just appreciated hearing live music again: “It’s so hard to pick a favourite act as everyone I saw had great stage presence. If I had to choose one though, it would have to be Dizzee.”
Connor told The Sheff Tab: “Being so close to people will take some getting used to. On the first day I was a bit cautious but the staff were great.”
“Blossoms were absolutely brilliant – their cover of ‘Tonight the Streets Are Ours’ was incredible.”
Mark, Uni Of Sheff
Mark told The Sheff Tab that Friday was his favourite day at Tramlines: “It was the first day back for everyone, so everyone was so hyped and ready to be back at a festival.
“I loved Circa Waves and it was great to be able to seem them – I was going to see them in Sheffield ages ago but they cancelled last minute due to Covid.”
He also told The Tab that he forgot Covid existed for the weekend: “I was a bit nervous at first as it was the first time being back around lots of people, but when you were actually inside the festival it was like a big bubble.”
Natalie’s favourite part of the weekend was being back listening to live music after almost two years: “It felt so surreal to see Royal Blood and then turn around and see so many people in one place.
“I felt safe due to the Covid passes that were required to get into the venue. At first it felt really strange to be surrounded by so many people but then you got caught up in the moment and it felt completely normal again.”