Last Thursday we attended the prestigious UK Festival Awards, held at the Troxy in London. Where Sarah Nulty, the Director and co-founder of Tramlines, collected her ‘Outstanding Contribution to Festivals’ award. Sarah, aged 36, passed away, just weeks before Tramlines’ 10th birthday following a short illness.
Sarah joined an illustrious group of festival professionals in receiving this award. Past winners have included Michael Eavis (the founder of Glastonbury), Rob Da Bank (the founder of Bestival) and Fiona Stewart (the founder of Green Man). This award can be considered the highest accolade for any individual working in the UK Festival industry, which is recognised as a world leader in this area.
Alongside this, the UK Festival Awards announced they had created a new award which will bare Sarah’s name, ‘The Sarah Nulty Women In Festivals Award’. This will be given out for the first time at the 2019 ceremony, which will recognise the work and achievements of the many outstanding women working in the male-dominated festival industry. Its aim is to also inspire other females wishing to pursue a career in the music and events industry, something Sarah championed during her time not only at Tramlines, but throughout her career overall.
Sarah came to Sheffield as a student in 1999 and following various roles in the local music industry including managing venues and running events, she was appointed Festival Director of Tramlines in 2013 having been instrumental in the launch of the festival in 2009.
Tramlines Festival was an immediate success, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to Sheffield in its first year. Through Sarah’s stewardship, the festival overcame fundamental changes in the way it was funded and delivered, and the hugely successful 10th edition was a testament to her tremendous work ethic and passion for Sheffield music.
This latest award can be added to an impressive array of awards and honours bestowed on Sarah. On 6th November she was given an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Association of Independent Festivals, and she also received a Civic Award from Magid Magid, The Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Sheffield City Council has created a permanent memorial for Sarah in the form of a commemorative plaque at Devonshire Green in Sheffield City Centre, the original home of the main stage for Tramlines Festival.
Tramlines Operations Director Timm Cleasby commented: “We are all so proud that Sarah has received this hugely deserved award. To be recognised by the UK Festival Awards for all her hard work, drive and determination is a true honour to her memory, and to the legacy she’s left behind in Tramlines”.