The Leadmill brings bands outdoors with music festival in Sheffield’s Tudor Square

By Tom Marshall

After coming out of a two-year lockdown, public music events are now being held once more. In comes The Leadmill to host a small festival outside The Crucible in Tudor Square, appropriately named Leadmill in the Square.  In collaboration with the University of Sheffield and Yellow Bus Events, a host of local artists gathered in the square as part of Sheffield’s ‘Summer in the Outdoor City’ programme.

Saturday held a host of young artists such as Nathaniel Short, who had supported Olivia Deano at The Leadmill the previous night. Daisy Peacock secured a spot at her first event post-covid, performing a set of original songs heavily influenced by Taylor Swift and the storytelling genre. Jacob Oldroyd, a Sheffield native, made an appearance as the final act of the day, who’s set was comprised of original acoustic tracks.

Shelley Byron & The Poison Sleep at their performance on Sunday

Shelley Byron & The Poison Sleep were the second act on Sunday and impressed the square’s audience with their lo-fi pop sound. They also had a half hour set at this year’s first metropolitan festival post-covid on The Library Stage at Tramlines. The weekend was filled with strange and whacky moments alongside subtle ads for the Crucible Corner, who apparently do the best chips in Sheffield.

Minds Idle were the final act of the weekend. Tipped as one of the best upcoming bands from Sheffield, they were the initial band to perform at the first metropolitan festival post-covid at Tramlines. They played several original songs with the ever-growing retro-pop sound. Lead singer Ted performed some songs solo and managed to hold the audience’s interest. Lead guitarist Jack, however, suffered throughout the day due to the long night before. Regardless of an early set-time, they managed to bring in large crowds which continued the rest of the festival. The Sheffield band have been busy recently, “[we’ve been] saying yes to pretty much every gig that came our way. Tramlines we played five gigs which was a bit more than we could chew, but we chewed it and it tasted good” continued frontman Ted Mitchell, “we have to keep going.” A band everyone should follow for the near future.

Lockdown restrictions lifted- Minds Idle frontman Ted Mitchell embracing a fan

Rose Wilcox, head of programming at The Leadmill, said: “We are so thrilled at the opportunity of hosting a musical weekend outside of our usual walls and in one of our favourite parts of the city centre! The team at The Leadmill work tirelessly to help develop talent based within the city, offering supporting slots at various events, curating entertainment as part of the annual Tramlines festival etc. For us to be able to continue to do so by offering exposure in such a popular space in town, with drinks and space for dancing along available, we couldn’t be more pleased!”

The event hosted some fantastic talent including a few hidden gems, which really showed off Sheffield as a place with an abundance of potential. The weekend’s festivities were a welcome addition to the city after the dreadful two years of lockdown.

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