Tramlines 2024 Apply to Play now open

Applications are now open for Apply To Play, the annual talent scheme hosted by Tramlines Festival, which offers local and upcoming artists, paid-for opportunities to play at the event, taking place from 26-28th July at Hillsborough Park.

Winner of the 2023 UK Festival Award for ‘Best Festival for Emerging Talent’ this regular feature at Tramlines has helped dozens of grassroots talent gain a foothold in the competitive live music industry with the Tramlines team dedicated to nurturing next generation talent and offering career-kick starting prizes.

Here at Exposed, our links with the festival have always been strong and this year we’ve been asked to join the Apply To Play judging panel, selecting finalists alongside Amazing Radio (Shell Zenner), This Feeling, BBC Introducing, Rock Revival, Waterbear Music College, and The Sarah Nulty Power of Music Foundation.

Photo credit: CFARUOLO

The overall winner will be picked by John Kennedy, guru of new music and host of Radio X.

John Kennedy said: “The privilege of getting to choose the winner of Apply To Play is not just discovering loads of brilliant new talents and being able to give them a leg up the ladder but seeing the positive impact the scheme can have on artists’ mental health.

“It was touching to hear from last year’s winner Harri Larkin just how much it helped them grow in confidence and encouraged them to keep going. I’m looking forward to being able to do that again this year!”

Tramlines has partnered up with some brilliant brands and festivals to offer all finalists an extra special prize plus an incredible package is up for grabs for one very lucky Winner. The 2024 winner of Apply to Play will receive a paid performance slot at Tramlines Festival 2024 and the opportunity to perform at Truck (Oxfordshire), Y Not (Derbyshire) and Victorious Festival (Portsmouth).

The winner will also receive industry support from John Kennedy (Radio X), media interviews with new talent advocate Shell Zenner on Amazing Radio, plus Rock Revival and little old us, £500 worth of studio time at Pirate Studios and a performance opportunity at the ‘This Feeling’ Industry Showcase. All finalists will receive a paid slot at Tramlines and £100 credit at Pirate Studios.

Apply to Play 2023 winners, Harri Larkin, had a huge boost to the band’s fortunes following their Tramlines success. They said, “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.

Tramlines 2023

Paul Heaton headlining the main stage at Tramlines 2023

“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”.

Mikey Jones, Director of This Feeling said, “We’re all about giving new acts the opportunity to thrive so to be involved in ‘Apply to Play’ with some of the biggest festivals in the UK, we jumped. Harri Larkin, SANTÙ & 88 Miles all won slots last summer and blew us (and packed tents!) away.

Photo credit: CFARUOLO

“We’re now working with all three as ‘Big in 2024’ picks and looking forward to developing these outstanding new talents further. It’s a massive chance to crack on in a notoriously tough industry so if you’re a new band, apply to play now!”

Any band or artist who would like to apply for 2024 has until 5pm Sunday 10th March to apply via the Tramlines website –

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