Our Guide To The Must See Bands at Tramlines 2021

It’s not all about the headline acts, there’s some great upcoming talent in the lineup!

There are a few different stages at Tramlines 2021 this year, including ‘The Open Arms’ which is brand new for this year’s festival, so we are going to take a look at the stages, and give you a great list of must see acts!

Sarah Nulty’s Main Stage

The main stage is where you are going to catch the big established acts, but don’t be fooled, because there are still some brilliant upcoming bands getting a shot on the main stage! We recommend trying to catch; The Reytons, The Blinders, and The Lathums. Now this is not to say the other bands aren’t worth seeing, but most of the other bands have been around the festival circuit for some time, but the bands we have selected are ones that haven’t been around all that long. You may have caught them before, especially The Blinders, who have been cutting about the festivals for a couple of years, but they are still worth catching if you somehow haven’t seen them already!

Obviously the main stage also carries the main headliners for the festival, with; The Streets, Royal Blood and Supergrass (replacing Richard Ashcroft) headlining the festival, as well as The Kooks, Blossoms and Dizzie Rascal taking spots high up the bill too!

T’Other Stage Live

This stage has a great mix of talent scheduled. There’s bands that have been out of the game for a while, there’s bands that have been around for years, and there’s also some nice talent breaking through. The likes of Jake Bugg, The Slow Readers Club, The Snuts and Red Rum Club are all on our list of bands we think you should try and catch! Understandably, 3/4 of those bands you may have seen before, especially Jake Bugg who has been around since the early 2010’s, but each of those bands still put on a great show and are always worth catching. As for The Snuts, if you haven’t already checked these guys out, then now is your time to do so! They’ve been slowly making a name for themselves, but over the last 12 months, and following the release of their debut album in April, they’ve really started to be the name on everyone’s lips, so catch them whilst they are still progressing through the ranks!

Also performing on this stage, you have the likes of Everything Everything and Sophie Ellis Bextor. Both of which are flashes to the late 2000’s/early 2010’s indie/alternative scene!

T’Other Stage Comedy (Saturday and Sunday only)

Now, we know you’re probably going to the festival to have some live music blasted at you after around 18 months without any, but it’s always worth checking out the comedy stage! There are some really great comedy acts scheduled to play at the festival this year, including Joel Dommett, Milton Jones and Ivo Graham. It’s always a nice change of scene to see some live comedy, so it’s definitely worth checking out the comedy stage if you find yourself with some spare time in between the bands you’ve bought tickets to see!

The Library Stage

For catching some upcoming talent, The Library Stage is definitely the place to be. There’s a whole host of bands to see across the three days, and narrowing it down to a few, must see acts is pretty tricky, but we’re going to go for; Billy Nomates, The Pale White, The Hara, and Vistas. We highly recommend spending the majority of your weekend at this stage, because you are bound to discover a fresh band, the majority if who are still early in their career. There’s a mix of genre’s too, so no matter your musical tastes, your almost guaranteed to catch a band here who you will be adding to your playlists before you know it.

The Leadmill Stage (Curated by BBC Introducing)

Anything with BBC Introducing is always worth a look. They always seem to pick out some of the hottest new bands around, and give them a platform to get their name out to some fresh fans. Headlining the stage on Saturday is Sophie and The Giants for example, who are quickly becoming one of the hottest bands around, or if you want some nice acoustic material, check out Alice Ede, who is performing on the stage on the opening day (Friday). Or alternatively, if you want something nice and heavy, and a bit of upcoming metal, check out Havelocke, who are performing on the Sunday! As with The Library Stage, you are bound to discover at least one new band at this stage, if not a handful of new bands!

The Open Arms (New for 2021)

This new for 2021 stage has something for everyone. For example, you could watch Barrioke with Shaun Williamson, or ABBA Party. It really does seem like there’s a bit of fun for all ages on this stage, and it’s sure to be a great place to be. There’s even a performance from Vinegar Strokes & The Morning Afters, the lead singer of which rose to fame on Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK. If you want a good time, and a bit of a party, head to The Open Arms stage and you’re not going to be disappointed.


Whether you wander around the festival aimlessly, or plan out your weekend meticulously, you’re sure to find some great music, have a great time, and be back at a festival for the first time in around 2 years. The atmosphere is sure to be incredible, the band’s will love seeing fans once again, the fans will love to see the bands once again, so if you’re one of the lucky ones who have tickets, you really are in for a treat!


Feature image credit: Nile Rogers at Tramlines 2019. Shot by Fanatic/Giles Smith