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Tramlines 'Apply-To-Play' Student Opportunity

Posted on January 22, 2024

Students at WaterBear – The College of Music are being given the chance to play at the next Tramlines festival this summer, thanks to the ‘Apply-to-Play’ scheme. 

The ‘Apply-To-Play' scheme has been a feature at Tramlines for a number of years. The scheme gives the opportunity for any up-and-coming artists to have the chance to play at the festival, sharing the stage with world-class headliners. The winner of the scheme also receives radio play courtesy of DJ John Kennedy, press coverage, and other opportunities to perform at different festivals.  

The award is judged by a panel of leading Sheffield-based music industry figures, including WaterBear ourselves. 

Tramlines is famous for its dedication to promoting emerging music, having just recently been declared ‘Best Festival for Emerging Talent’ at the UK festival awards. Having first taken place in 2009, Tramlines has itself developed throughout the years, evolving from a small festival based across different venues in Sheffield city centre to a 40,000-person event held in Hillsborough Park. 

WaterBear Students at Tramlines 

Tramlines has already featured WaterBear students in their line-ups across the last couple of years. Last year, current WaterBear student Mookie won an opportunity to play the festival last year, where she kicked off The Library stage on the Friday having recently released her stunning debut EP ‘Delicate Mechanisms’. On performing at Tramlines, Mookie shared: ‘Tramlines was my first festival, and I loved every minute of it. The day ran so smoothly, and the organisers were so helpful and welcoming. It was a really memorable experience.” 2023 also saw one of our Brighton students, Alex Lemonidis, win a paid opportunity working as an Assistant Access Manager at the festival. Last year also saw prospective WaterBear students Kid Blu3 and Alice Ede performing who are both incredible emerging talents. 

WaterBear Student Mookie at Tramlines

As one of the biggest festivals in the UK, Tramlines represents a fantastic opportunity for any aspiring musician to get valuable live experience, as well as an opportunity to grow their audience by playing such a large festival. 

Harri Larkin, the 2023 winner of the ‘Apply-To-Play' scheme, had this to say: 

“Winning the Tramlines competition has given us a massive career boost in and outside of Sheffield, headlining a stage at Tramlines is a great talking point when applying for gigs. We made loads of contacts off the back of our summer of festivals. Part of the prize was the opportunity to play a showcase for ‘This Feeling’ in London. We brought our A game and ended up being one of their ‘Big in 2024’ picks leading to further festival and showcase opportunities in 2024”. 

'Apply-To-Play' Scheme Prizes

The Winner of the 2024 Apply to Play Competition receives: 

  • Paid festival slot at Tramlines and the opportunity to perform at Truck Festival in Oxfordshire, Y Not Festival in Derbyshire and Victorious Festival in Portsmouth. 
  • Industry support from John Kennedy. 
  • £500 worth of rehearsal + recording studio credits at Pirate Studios. 
  • Interview feature with Rock Revival hosted by John Kennedy. 
  • Interview feature with Exposed Magazine. 
  • Media interviews with new talent advocate Shell Zenner on Amazing Radio. 
  • Performance opportunity at This Feeling industry showcase event in front of music industry professionals. 
  • Professional press shots taken at Tramlines 2024. 

The Finalists receive: 

  • Paid festival slot at Tramlines 
  • £100 Pirate Studio credit each 

Students can access the link for the ‘Apply-To-Play' scheme on Canvas. The deadline to apply is 10th March, at 5pm. 


WaterBear – The College of Music 

WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. Our colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, two amazing UK cities with incredible musical roots and heritage. We also have a range of online distance learning courses too. 

View our Courses 

Book an Open Day 

Download a Prospectus 

Start Your Application 

WaterBear is a College of Falmouth University, a pioneer in creative industries education, entrepreneurship and innovation. Run by musicians, for musicians we are about smaller class sizes, flexible course delivery, bespoke one-to-one mentoring and exclusive work experience and career development opportunities.

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WaterBear Education Ltd, Hanover House,
118 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG, UK  Map

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1273 726230

WaterBear Sheffield, Unit 4, Gatecrasher,
49 Eyre Lane, Sheffield S1 4RB, UK

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1143 992720

Why We're WaterBear...

- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.

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