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Love Festivals, hate camping?

Love the idea of a festival but loathe the reality of sleeping in a tent, washing with baby wipes and shitting in a filthy portaloo?

You want to get yourself to Tramlines!

Tramlines festival in Sheffield is an award winning, city wide festival of live music taking place on 22nd – 24th July this year and is the perfect antidote to festival tent face.  Forget glamping, it’s all about music, glitter and ridiculousness and then getting in your own lovely bed at night!

Seriously, it’s a great idea for those of us who have disabilities or illnesses where the very idea of a festival sends chills.  Camping can be tough, camping at a festival with few facilities and acres of mud between you and your toilet can be a fucking nightmare.

Tramlines is a cracking deal for a weekend of music, at just £32 for a weekend ticket, it’s a full on bargain when you look at the cost of other festivals.  You can pay that for one gig!

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Photo: Tierney Photography

Sheffield is an amazing city for culture, music and nights out, and the awesome thing about Tramlines is that it is city wide. With a main stage at Ponderosa and second stage on Devonshire Green, you get the big festival feel and a cracking line up.  But what’s even better is the loads of little venues around the city showcasing bands, artists, film and culture.

Be sure to check out the Folk Forest in Endcliffe Park and the beautiful Sheffield Cathedral, as well as all the fringe venues around the city.

Your ticket gets you a wristband that allows you into a ton of venues and you can wander around the city and soak up the brilliant atmosphere and see bands and artists you would usually not know about.

This is a real bonus for those of us with accessibility needs. Festival sites are notoriously shit for accessibility, which can really put off people with illnesses or disabilities where they gave extra needs. Being city wide means you have a wider scope of places to visit and it’s a bit easier to check them out beforehand.

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Tramlines has accessible viewing platforms on the main stages and if you have a carer, they can get in for free!  There are a few Changing Places in Sheffield meaning if you or your pal needs a full access toilet, you have a choice. Check out the website here. 

The line up this year is fab, I’d highly recommend it for a weekend out whether you’re a regular festival goer or a festival virgin.  Get tickets now before they sell out.  And if you want to see my lovely son playing loud guitars, head over to see Goathead at the Leadmill on the Saturday!
I’ll see you there bad asses!!!!

Love Sam xxx

tramlines festival sheffield

tramlines festival sheffield

 

tramlines festival sheffield
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post, I’ve not received any remuneration for writing about Tramlines, but my brill hubby Timm is a festival director and so I suppose I do indirectly benefit from the festival. Even if I didn’t though, I’d still highly recommend it. Cos it’s wicked. So buy a ticket. 

Music in the Gardens and Crohns and Colitis UK

On Saturday 4th July I went along to Music in the Gardens, a music event in Sheffield by The Rotary Club.  I went not only to listen to the wonderful Proclaimers but also as a representative of Crohns and Colitis UK – South Yorkshire to shake buckets and sell programmes in order to raise money for my favourite charity!

It was a fantastic event that is now in it’s 10th year, each year the club choose charities to support and we were over the moon to be chosen this year.  Set in the gorgeous Botanical Gardens in Sheffield, the event was sold out and filled with music lovers who filled the space with blankets and picnics for an evening of music and charity.

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I took along my husband Timm and eldest son Charlie to help out on the night, along with CCUK members Cherylyn, Ryan, Ruth and her partner and we had a brilliant time, all the event goers were really generous and lots stopped us to talk about either their own dealings with IBD or those of a family member or friend.  It was great to get to chat face to face with so many and I even got recognised as “that bad ass girl” – Fame!!!

 

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We raised £769.06 for Crohns and Colitis UK and couldn’t be prouder!

Sam x

Good Work Tramlines! Thinking about disability

I love Tramlines.  It is the highlight of the year in Sheffield and is an amazing showcase of the wonderful talent we have in this great city.  For those who don’t know, Tramlines is an inner city festival in Sheffield from the 24th to 26th July, it is city wide with a huge main stage and then venues all over town, all for a stonkingly good price of £30 for a weekend ticket!

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Photo: Timm Cleasby – The Picture Foundry

So I was chatting to the brilliant festival director Sarah Nulty who told me about how Tramlines is trying to be accessible to all and as I love talking poo, obviously that was my first question.  All toilets are relatively spacious and plentiful for able bodied people, but there are accessible toilets for those with specific needs which will be near the disabled viewing platforms.  But if anyone has access needs for the larger toilets due to a medical issue, Tramlines is offering a special wristband that will avoid any embarrassing questioning for those with invisible disabilities who may need to use the accessible loos at the main stages.

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Photo: Mark Tierney

If you have a medical issue that may require you to use these toilets, you need to head over to the main wristband exchange points on Ponderosa Park or City Hall with some form of proof that you have extra needs and a valid ticket and the staff there will give you a wristband that allows access to these toilets.  Security and staff will be aware what these wristbands allow and this means there is no embarrassing explanation of your needs during the weekend.

Good work Tramlines!

Regarding disabled access, an accessible viewing platform will be available at the Main Stage, and stewards will be available on the day to help direct you. As with the whole festival, shows on the Main Stage do get extremely busy, so please do arrive early.  The disabled loo access band is for use at the Accessible Toilets only at the main stage and Devonshire Green, not the other venues.

Most venues involved in Tramlines have disabled access. Please see individual venue profile pages for full details of disabled access.  Disabled customers with a carer will be able to claim free entrance to the event for one carer. Email ku.gr1574385311o.sen1574385311ilmar1574385311t@ofn1574385311i1574385311 by 10th July to notify them in advance if you plan to attend with a carer by 10th July. No applications will be accepted after this point.
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The official charity for this year’s festival will be Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). As well as fundraising across the Tramlines site, they are also producing audio guides to the festival for blind and partially-sighted festival-goers.It is great to know that Tramlines are thinking about the needs of all festival goers and trying to ensure that the weekend will be enjoyable for all.  Having an illness or disability can often feel isolating and going to something like a festival seems as difficult as climbing a mountain but more and more events aren’t just fulfilling the legal responsibilities for disabled people but going above and beyond to make sure they are accessible to all.If you have specific questions and issues then do get in touch with the festival by email on ku.gr1574385311o.sen1574385311ilmar1574385311t@ofn1574385311i1574385311 – remember that even the largest of companies are run by human beings and they are there to help.

I would highly recommend giving Tramlines a visit, tickets are still available but get buying quickly as it could easily sell out!

 

See you there!

 

Sam x

 

This is not a sponsored post, I just LOVE Tramlines! My husband is involved in the running of Tramlines but I have received no remuneration for this post.

The 10 best things about Sheffield

I bloody love Sheffield and so thought I’d share with you the 10 best things about the mighty Sheffield… (In my humble opinion)

 

1. We breed the very best folk

Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Jessica Ennis to name but a few.  Sheffield is home to a huge amount of amazing people, the great Sean Bean, Joe Cocker, Michael Palin also hail from our great city.

But it’s not just the famous folk, the people of Sheffield are the warmest, funniest, most generous in all the land.  After the farce of the Sheffield Half Marathon this year (officially cancelled minutes before the start) Sheffielders came through and did us all proud with local people handing out bottles and cups of water to the runners who ran anyway.

People of Sheffield are proud and no matter where they live in the world, Sheffield is always in their hearts…

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Totes braggy photo of me and Jarvis…

2. The Snooker makes us all fans and experts once a year

Once a year, everyone in Sheffield becomes a snooker fan! The World Snooker Championship held at Sheffield’s mighty Crucible Theatre is a sporting highlight that shines a light on our great city.

It matters not if you never look at another snooker table for the rest of the year, throughout the championships Sheffielders are experts on 147 breaks, snooker tactics and we all DEFINITELY once saw Ronnie O’Sullivan in town…

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3. We have the best music scene

Sheffield has always had strong ties to live music, we have some great larger venues, but even better smaller ones that host such a range of music that fit to all tastes…  From Corporation to The Plug, Leadmill to the The Harley.

Music in Sheffield is exciting and I believe this is because we nurture young talent, a good Sheffield band take a place in your heart and are supported strongly.  And because Sheffield is the world’s biggest village (see number 10) everyone knows everyone in the music scene… This is a nice thing! Going out in town means bumping into the who’s who of Sheffield music and collaborations and musical appreciation are rife.

Go take a look at Exposed for a foray into Sheffield music awesomeness…

Some Sheffield musicians are Arctic MonkeysBring Me the HorizonPulpDef LeppardRichard HawleyLongpigsMilburnReverend and the Makers, The Long Blondes… to name but a few!

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4. We have our own festival… Tramlines

Sheffield has it’s very own inner city Glastonbury, Tramlines festival is HUGE and takes over the whole city with venues all across Sheffield from the main stage through to bars, pubs, parks and pretty much every space going.  It’s one weekend a year where music lovers, families, hard core festival goers and festival virgins alike don a wristband and experience three days of music, arts and Sheffield love.

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5. Hendersons is KING (and we are a bunch of foodies!)

Hendersons Relish… It’s a Sheffield staple.  We hold Hendersons to our heart and have a ridiculous amount of love and pride for this spicy relish!  We sing about it, make art from it, dress up like it.  It’s as big a part of Sheffield as the now destroyed Cooling Towers (See number 9!)

“It was Mr Henry Henderson who first began manufacturing his own special type of sauce back in the late part of the 19th century. Originally manufactured at 35 Broad Lane in Sheffield, Henderson’s Relish is still being made and has been in uninterrupted production within half a mile of the site from which the first bottle was filled.”

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This image of Jarvis Cocker is painted in the spicy yorkshire sauce

You can buy prints of this amazing work here by Neil Antcliff.

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But we aren’t just about the Hendos, Sheffield is fast becoming a foodie capital with amazing places to eat.  Pub grub is so much more at The Great Gatsby by Shyboy Cantina and for something a little smarter the amazing Wasabisabi is a must.  Sheffield Food blogger Feast and Glory is a great place to look for reviews and ideas on where to eat next time you are out!

 

6. Sheffield is the greenest city in the world!

61% of Sheffield’s entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District National park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, and an estimated 2 million trees, giving Sheffield the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.  There are 4 trees to every person in Sheffield… I love that fact!!

We are currently storming ahead in a vote for Sheffield to be the best UK city for country lovers

These facts come from the Creative Sheffield site;

  • Despite its urban location almost three-quarters of the city is taken up by natural vegetation and waterways.
  • More than a third of the city is located in the Peak District National Park – no other city has a National Park within its boundary.
  • In addition you’ll find 150 woodlands and 50 public parks all within Sheffield and it is rumoured that there are 4 mature trees to every person living here!
  • Over 44 per cent of Sheffield residents live within a five minute walk of a wood and half the city’s population live within 15 minutes of the open countryside. Imagine that!

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7. We have our own language

After thas finished tha snap tha can av some spice, orate?

Gi’or wi thisen, thas gorra get dahn thi jennel.

Neyow.

Understood? I love the confusion on people’s faces when they listen to a full on Sheffield accent, like the Full Monty but further…

In case you were wondering the above statements say

After you have finished your food, you can have some sweets, alright?

Give over with yourself (stop yourself, calm down), you have got to go down the alleyway between two buildings.  (It is DEFINITELY a jennel and NOT a ginnel…)

 

8. We have a band who play ukeleles, make puns and swear a lot… Everly Pregnant Brothers

I love a ukelele.  I love puns.  So I was always going to love Everly Pregnant Brothers! A group of Sheffield men, including artist Pete McKee and singer ‘Big Shaun’, they play Sheffield ukelele versions of classic songs such as No Oven, No Pie (No woman, No cry) and Hendos (Yellow).

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A Tramlines favourite, EPB are everything that is right and good in silly, funny music that doesn’t take itself too seriously…

If you are over 30, you may remember the Hole in The Road?! Yes? They sang about that too…

9. We all mourn the loss of the cooling towers

The Cooling Towers were an important part of Sheffield, the beacon on the M1 that said you were nearly home (or just getting to Meadowhall, yeah yeah I know I should probably have included Meadrall/MeadowHell or it’s many incarnations but you know, it’s just a massive shopping centre!!)

When they came down in 2008, a city mourned. There was an attempt to save them by artists, but alas they were demolished and an icon disappeared.

You can buy beautiful art prints by Jonathan Wilkinson here, seen below.

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But plans to reuse the site for a £500,000 public art project are to go ahead and so perhaps we will soon have a new icon to behold!

 

10. We are the biggest village in the world!

We really are!  Despite a population of over 550,000, Sheffield manages to redeem the feeling of living in a large Village.  Perhaps because the city centre is the heart, with clusters of great areas surrounding or perhaps it is just the great people of Sheffield.  Either way, you know on a stroll through town or a wander on Ecclesall Road you will most likely bump into a lot of people you know!

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Sheffield just has a great feel to it, it has a character and an authenticity that Sheffielders hold close to their hearts.  It is a great place to live and whenever I have been away for a while, coming back into the city always lifts my soul and makes me smile.

 

Sheffield and proud x

 

You are So Bad Ass… Timm Cleasby

On my old blog I started a series of interviews with some of the interesting folk of Sheffield, one of them is my favourite bloke of all time, my husband, Timm.

I talk about him a lot on So Bad Ass as he is a huge part of my journey, illness and recovery and so thought it would be nice to share it here.

 

 

With a music career that spanned two decades, Timm has worked for so many bands, there are too many to mention so I’ll just mention a few of the Sheffield bands, Reverend and the Makers, Richard Hawley, Human League and Arctic Monkeys.

In early 2005 Timm started working for Arctic Monkeys, he spent the next 6 years touring the world with them, watching the band grow from a bunch of teenage kids to one of the most popular and influential bands of our generation.

Then after almost 20 years in the business, he decided he would stop.  That he wanted to do something different.

Photograph: Timm Cleasby

We have three kids together and touring 9 months of the year just got too much.  He tells me that one day he was sat in a suite in some exotic location, in the bar downstairs were a group of young, beautiful famous faces partying.  And all he wanted was to be back at home with me and the kids.  So he stopped touring…

He was interviewed by Mixed in Sheffield, about his life and work in the music industry, its a really interesting watch, take a look.

So how do you move on in your work life from touring the world with musicians? Well, we knew it had to be something that he loved.  So he took his years as an amateur photographer and put them into use.  We set up a photography company, The Picture Foundry, and have spent the last few years building it up into an amazing business where we work together every day and Timm is at home and there for his kids every day.

He also runs Responsible Fishing UK with his best friend James Brunt, creating natural art installations and working with children and young people to encourage arts and play.  He keeps his finger in the music pie as the Productions Director for Sheffield festival, Tramlines.

Let’s get to the interview…

Name, age, gender

Timm Cleasby, 40, Bloke

What do you do?

Photographer, Artist, Organiser of festivals

Photograph: Andy Willsher

How has living in Sheffield and Yorkshire affected your life and attitude?

Living in Sheffield has affected my life in so many ways, I moved here when I was 19 and from then on it’s shaped my life, from studying photography at Stradbroke college to getting dragged into the music industry gigging with local bands in the early 90’s. It’s also inspired much of my work and style in photography, I love industrial settings, probably due hanging out in too many dodgy warehouses and industrial ruins. I would have never had the opportunities I have had without being in Sheffield.

It’s affected my attitude in many ways too… coming originally from Barnsley it was a bit of a shock living in Sheffield, the multicultural nature of the city and the many characters and sub cultures that made up Sheffield in the 90’s challenged most of the conceptions I’d had living in Barnsley in such a positive way… and I’m glad it did.

Yorkshire has provided such an amazing place to live, I’ve had many chances to move away (London, Aus, USA) but I’ve always felt at home here, even though I’ve spent most of my life away Sheffield and Yorkshire has always been the place I come home to.

 

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Grumpy, Creative, Beardy, Happy, Bloke

 

Tell me something peculiar about yourself.

I have “Dude” tattooed on my left shoulder and the owner of a tattoo shop / bar called White Trash in Berlin, Germany has “Sweet”…. Yep we were drunk.

I’m going to be a 40 year old Grandpa

I like Fish Fingers and Custard

 

 

What are your future aims?

To have an amazing photo studio in a beautiful house that we can use as locations inside and out

To be a great dad / grandpa

To reach old age with my lovely wife but still act like kids

To have my own festival with my Best pal James

 

If there were a zombie apocalypse, what would your survival plan be?

Fight, fight, fight… Gather as many tools, weapons and vehicles as I can and FIGHT.

 

 

What is your favorite thing about Sheffield?

The fact the within 20 minutes I can be in the city or amazing country side or a big shopping mall.

 

Find out more about Timm at The Picture Foundry.  Follow him on twitter, like him on Facebook.

 

 

Love Sam x

Tramlines – what a difference a year makes

Tramlines is a city centre festival in the great city of Sheffield, it’s an amazing thing and my lovely husband Timm is one of the festival directors and the production director so each year I’m lucky enough to get a little pass that allows me to hang out backstage and have a generally fantastic time.

But it also serves for me as a fixed point in time that makes me realise how far I have come in a year. You see, at last years festival I was ill. I was 5 months into the worst flare up of my life but I was trying my hardest to hide it.

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This photo was last year, I felt like death warmed up…

I was on a lot of meds and in my heart, I knew this time felt different. I was bleeding constantly, I had to wear pads in my pants as there was just so much blood. My stomach was agony and I was running to the toilet every few minutes. I didn’t feel up to going to be honest, but felt it was important to try and be normal and to show Timm my support.

I remember standing near the loos after yet another mad dash, doing as fast a walk as I could get away with, without looking insane to the toilets. I was with Timm’s sister Nancy and friend Michelle and I was telling the that things weren’t good. I’m close to Nancy and she knows everything about my illness and is a massive supporter of me and this blog.

I was telling her about the possibilities of future surgery, I remember quite naively saying that after the second op they just join everything back up and I’d live a normal life pooing just a little every time I had a wee! It all sounded so simple on paper and easy to describe, I don’t think I’d put my emotions into it and thought about the emotional and mental changes that would occur.

The whole conversation was very much hypothetical, I knew about the surgeries but had no idea that within 5 weeks of the day I would be on the operating table having my large intestine out.

So Bad Ass didn’t exist at this point, I was still quite embarrassed a lot of the time about my disease. Family and close friends knew but I kept it quite under wraps. I spent the weekend throat tightingly close to tears as I just felt so poorly and under so much pressure (from myself) to keep it together.

So roll it forward one year and I just can’t believe all that has happened in the last 12 months! This years Tramlines has been amazing. I stood in pretty much the same spot with Nancy and Michelle thinking how good it felt to be on only one medication (loperamide) that has NO side effects that cause me to get a big swollen mood face, manic episodes or total insomnia!!

A year into writing So Bad Ass, pretty much everyone knows what I have been through and so I felt no pressure to hide anything. I got so many amazing people coming up to me to tell me they read my blog and love it. It was quite emotional to know that I have made a teeny tiny difference to peoples lives.

Friends, Timm’s work colleagues, total flipping strangers(!!!) were coming up to me all weekend to tell me what So Bad Ass means to them and I just can’t tell you how much that means to me. To know that my little blog is being read, shared and is helping others makes me feel humbled and just blown away. Thank you.

One year on, I have learnt about my own strength, I’ve found a confidence I didn’t believe I possessed and though my health isn’t perfect and I’m still on a road to recovery from my j pouch surgery, I feel good!!

I watched lots of amazing bands, hung out with too many awesome people to name, laughed with fantastic friends till my stomach hurt, spent the weekend with my three kids hanging out with me, watched Everly Pregnant Brothers, the best northern, ukulele, pun based band you will ever hear, on Kelham island whilst the sun set.

I jumped about and went mental whilst watching Public Enemy then met Chuck D and Flavor Flav (yeahhhhhh boiiiiiiii)

I watched a woman hang by her feet and juggle swords upside down.

I drank my body weight in gin and peach iced tea.

I saw so many friends and got to hang out with them (even if it were only briefly with some)

I felt confident and well.

I felt no shame.

I felt happy.

Thank you Tramlines for the best year so far, I had a blast!!! Who knows where my life will be in another years time?!

Here are some of my favourite photos of the weekend…

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