Saturday, 25 February 2012

T in the Park 2012

The latest announcement of acts for the 2012 T in the Park prompted the usual outpourings of joy for some and scorn from others.

The same thing happened when the Stone Roses were going to be headlining one night at T in the Park with plenty of people moaning that the Roses would mean that ‘even more neds than normal’ would attend the festival. 


I thoroughly enjoy reading the comments and tweets, finding it highly amusing at the people getting worked up about the line up. 

I'm older, if something is good then I like it, regardless if it is cool or not. I'm wiser as well, I completely understand why DF Concerts have picked the acts they have.

There is a recession going on in case people hadn't noticed. DF have wisely picked acts that they know will help the festival sell out yet again. Stone Roses, Kasabian, Noel Gallagher and New Order have massive fan bases north of the border. People from 15 to 50 will want to see these bands, many youngsters for the first time, many others to remind them of their youth.

Once the festival sells out there will be plenty of scope to get other acts in. Part of going to a festival is all about getting the timetable and planning who are you going to see, where and when, what does it clash with? Oh who will I choose, are you going to see them? I'll meet you after then? All part of the fun.

If a novelty act like The Darkness are announced for Glastonbury it is treated with the humour intended; 'Oh I bet the Darkness will be fun'. Of course plenty of people at Glastonbury would also think 'fuck that' and go off and see something else. That is the beauty of a festival of the scale of T, there are plenty of other stages.

Elsewhere there are the acts for the youngsters; Example, Calvin Harris, The Vaccines and many more. Yeah The Wanted are playing but again Glastonbury kind of pioneered the pop band playing that you didn't expect, they usually get a good crowd and I am sure The Wanted will get a good crowd at T who have had Sugababes amongst other pop stars.

DF and others have tried the festivals for the cool kids; Connect and Indian Summer - brilliant festivals, the first Connect had an incredible line-up that I couldn't believe. I miss them, but they were massive loss making festivals. I hope they try again, I don't think that this is the right time. Check out Bestival - hard and expensive to get to from Scotland, but my mate has been the last two years and is going again this year.

I think I went to 8 or 9 out of the first 10 years of T in the Park. Since then it has been a bit more sporadic; I have been for the day, been as a volunteer with Oxfam and I’ve been as a worker when I organised a tent for Maggie’s Centres. I’ve been in the VIP area, I’ve been ‘backstage’, I’ve been in the nice workers campsite, I’ve been in the jam packed punters campsite, I've seen people tip over a portaloo with someone inside.....not pleasant, yet funny at the same time.

I’ve seen the transition from the first festival where everyone really did wonder if it was going to happen to the behometh that T in the Park is today.

A few facts.

The T site at Balado becomes the fifth largest town in Scotland for the weekend.
That statistic alone means that you are going to get people from all walks of life attending, in the same way that you get all walks of life living in a large town/city. A weekend of music fuelled by alcohol and plenty of other substances, the chance to be with your mates, meet like minded people, camp out, party all night…..that appeals to many whether it be doctors, lawyers, school kids, students, the unemployed, bankers, wankers and inevitably neds. 

So the short answer is that yes, there are going to be neds at T in the Park. I think anyone who has been to T in the Park knows that. Whether it can truly be described as a Nedfest is another matter altogether.

There are also going to be some highly educated, talented and artistic people in the crowd.

I still get a buzz at T when I see kids running into the site, overjoyed to be at their first festival. They don't give a flying fuck about what the cool kids think about the line up, their joy is that they are out with their mates to see loads of bands over a weekend - oh the beauty of innocence.

Do the Stone Roses attract neds?

When I was at school it was all the cool kids that were into the Roses. But then back in the early 90’s neds wasn’t in the vocabulary. I don’t recall many neds attending the first T in the Parks, but I do know that many came down and hung outside and there was a bit of trouble. One of the reasons (other than site size and restrictions) that the festival moved to Baldao.

Again, on a similar theme to point 1, any band with a huge fan base is going to attract all kinds of fans. So that definitely applies to the Roses. A fine example of the cool kids being the first to find out a band and then that all changing is this excellent blog by one of the first people to get into the Roses ‘back in the day’in Glasgow

One of my favourite T in the Park memories is turning up to Balado campsite really early on the Friday (before bands played that day) with a big group of my mates and a big group of my brothers mates. The sun was shining, we pitched, we drank and we listened to tunes. A group of lads down the way had a ball and asked us if we could get a team to play them. Indeed we could. We played in the scorching sun, 5 half-time, ten the winner. We won 10-8, I linked up with my brother for the winning goal. We made pals with the lads and had a great night talking about music. At one point a massive cheer started to go around the campsite, soon everyone was cheering and everyone seemed to be moving to one area. We went down, someone had a great wee soundsystem and everyone was dancing. Some guy was mashed but he was loving it, he didn’t care that everyone was dancing around and even inside his tent (it was quite big). Everyone was drinking, dancing together, chatting. A few of us stayed up all night and we didn’t regret a moment. I woke up in someone’s tent and had no idea how I had got there.

One of those great nights and I hadn’t even seen a band yet. The point being that the vast majority of people at T in the Park are there for a good time, to listen to music, to have fun, to dance and to make friends and chat with strangers.


T in the Park has neds, but to describe it as a nedfest is to do it an injustice. It is the biggest festival in Scotland by miles, attracting some of the biggest names in music year on year, selling out with ease and making tens of thousands of people extremely happy.

Loads of people plan their summer around it, in fact loads of people probably plan their year around it. In tough times people need something to look forward to and T in the Park certainly provides them with something to do just that. 

People save for it, people crave for it....OK I'm going to go one further and say that people rave for it (groan). They certainly rave at it, the audience at T in the Park has to be one of the most 'up for it' in the world. 

We should be focusing on the multitude of positives surrounding this festival that provides joy to so many people, provides a huge boost for the Scottish economy and highlights the stunning Scottish countryside and our 'mad for it' crowd that are up for a party regardless of the weather.

Now if someone can sort me out with a ticket for the day the Roses are playing, that would be tremendous.

No comments: