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'Much more to come' from T In The Park

14 February 2006

The Scottish mega-fest may have already been crowned the UK's top festival, but boss Geoff Ellis told VF how there's much more to come when we caught up with him at the TITP launch party in Glasgow.

T In The Park organiser, Geoff Ellis, has expressed his disgust of eBay and warned customers off buying tickets from any unsolicited websites, at the festival’s launch party (Monday, 13 Feb).

Mr Ellis announced that he expected this to be the greatest TITP ever, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Who headlining, but also acknowledged that that as the festival grows in popularity, festival goers must be more aware of dodgy ticket touts.

He said: “Each year, we see a lot of bogus ticket agents. They’re basically touts. Last year, the worst culprits were called getmetickets.net, who have threatened to sue me in the past, but I don’t care. The Department of Trade and Industry have forced them into liquidation in the past week. The problem is the directors of the company have set up a new company so beware of other ticket agents out there. Buyers beware.

“E-bay isn’t much better to be honest. I don’t like it. You do get some people selling tickets on there who genuinely do want to go to the festival but, for whatever reason, just can’t make it the majority of them are basically touts and they just  want to rip you off.

“The bottom line is, if you buy your ticket from an unsolicited website, that ticket probably doesn’t exist.”

With Glastonbury out of the picture this year, T In The Park is expected to step forward to become the biggest and best festival in the UK this year, pushing demand for tickets to the limit.

A massive fence is to be erected around the festival site in order to keep out unwanted guests and spot checks will be carried out to make sure everyone that gets into the festival has a genuine ticket.

Anyone stopped will need to know who purchased their ticket, when it was bought and what the buyer’s address is. Everyone getting on shuttle busses to the site will also have their tickets checked before boarding their coach.

Mr Ellis said: “We were pleased to receive awards last year and to be recognised as the best festival in the UK. As T In The Park grows in popularity it would now be very easy to just put any old bands on and take money off everyone, but that’s not what we’re all about.

“We very much see this as a long term thing, so we know we have to make this year’s festival even better than any of the others.

“With Glastonbury taking a year out in 2006 it does help us but it’s not so much about Glastonbury being off. It’s just a chance for us to show more people how great T In The Park is.”

Mr Ellis also confirmed that the festival would be increasing in capacity but was quick to stamp out rumours that numbers would increase significantly, up to 100,000.

“We would love to increase the numbers,” he said. “But it’s only going to happen if we’re given the go-ahead by the council. We’ve requested an increase – not as much as 100,000 though  - but we’re still waiting to hear back.”

Along with the headliners, Kaiser Chiefs, The Ordinary Boys, Arctic Monkeys, Sigur Ros, and Primal Scream were announced as confirmed acts, with a number of huge bands in the pipeline. Mr Ellis stated that there are a number of other quality bands that want to take part in the festival and that the fun-loving Scottish crowds were the major factor.

He said: “I don’t want people to think that we’ve just named the best bands and we’ve got nothing else coming. I think this is the strongest line-up we’ve been able to announce on launch day and we have a lot of other bands that we’re talking to.

“These other bands aren’t just going to make up the numbers. We still have a lot of heavy hitters that we expect to be announcing in the coming weeks, so it should be exciting over the next few months. We’re obviously going to wait until nearer the time to announce some bands so we get the hot new bands in.”

Mr Ellis also expressed his desire to see T In The Park broadcast throughout the UK. He told us: “There’s a lot of UK out there, apart from Scotland and I think these people deserve to see the UK’s best festival on their TV screens as well.”

Organisers also announced that the layout problems of last year have been taken care of, after a bottleneck near the main stage caused extreme overcrowding in that area. Despite initially saying they had received good feedback on 2005’s layout, the organisers admitted they realised there had been considerable problems last year.

Mr Ellis said: “I wouldn’t exactly call it a bottleneck but we saw there was a problem. The drinks stall was much nearer the stage than it needed to be and that caused problems. So we’ve taken that into account and moved things about a little to create more room."
 
Not much light was shed on the second most important part of the music festival, however – the booze.

A spokesman for Tennants lager said he couldn’t confirm how much their drinks would cost this year because they are not involved in selling it at festivals. He pointed out that Tennants make the lager but it is not them who distribute or sell it at festivals.

He added: “I can’t tell you how much it’s going to cost but I know the logistics of getting the lager to the festival, keeping it cool and fresh all weekend and having people looking after it for 48 hours is very expensive.”

T In The Park 2006 takes place at Balado, Kinross, on 8-9 July. Click on the links below for more.



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Article by: Duncan MacRae

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