EXCLUSIVE: Global’s Broadwick Live Set To Buy Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival

Richard Johnson

Media and entertainment group Global could expand its festival portfolio via its majority stake in Broadwick Live, by acquiring Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival.

We’ve seen a Share Purchase Agreement between Tramlines Festival, it’s current owners (Tramlines Events Ltd/Tramlines Enterprises Ltd) and Broadwick Live. We understand Broadwick Live have an exclusive window until February to acquire the Sheffield festival.

Global comprises of Global Radio (Radio X, Heart, Capital, Smooth, Classic FM, Gold, LBC), Global Television (Capital TV, Heart TV) and Global Entertainment, which includes music publishing, management and live and touring division hosting over 140 events a year.

Broadwick Live is the 2nd biggest festival operator in the UK, behind Live Nation.

The companies own (or have majority stakes in) the likes of Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival, Boardmasters, Truck Festival, Victorious, SouthWestFour, Festival No. 6, Field Day and Rewind Festival. Some of these events are run in-house, others are still run by their founders.

A jewel on the Northern calendar for music fans, Sheffield’s Tramlines will return to Hillsborough Park from Friday 19 July – Sunday 21 July 2019. A massive part of the festival is the citywide fringe events that are hosted by local venues, bars and businesses. The festival capacity has increased to 40,000 and the city will see upwards of 100,000 people.

The current Tramlines majority shareholder is Ralph Broadbent who co-founded Count Of Ten which owned and promoted festivals including Y Not and Truck before selling up to Global/Broadwick in 2016. Another key shareholder and director at Tramlines is Simon Mawbey, who is the former organiser of Y Not Festival (another Global/Broadwick event). On 7th February this year Tramlines took out a sizable loan with Global Festivals Limited for this year’s event.

Ground Control, a live music and event production specialist owned by Broadwick Live, ran this years festival site at Hillsborough.

On 15 June 2018 two new shareholders and directors came on board at Tramlines Enterprises Ltd; Matt Harrap and Mark Forster. Matt Harrap is a Broadwick Live events manager, mainly running Broadwick’s Truck Festival.

We reached out for a comment from Tramlines, Ralph Broadbent:

This year we’ve had the support of Broadwick Live/Global Festivals which has in part contributed to making 2018 our best year to date. The company hasn’t been sold, the focus at the moment is mapping out the exciting plans for 2019

Broadwick Live has yet to respond. Tramlines Festival remains independent for now but come February we shall see if that’s still the case.