T In The Park 2010: Rated!
Kinross, Scotland 9 - 11 July
Gavin McInally - 12 July 2010
OVERALL - 7/10
Despite a torrid wrestle with the weather – rain for most of the weekend with gale force winds accompanying the all-too-brief sun spells on the Sunday – and a largely stale line-up, the stunning headline sets by Muse, Eminem and Kasabian and by an unbeatable Scottish spirit which refuses to be broken; T In The Park 2010 can proudly boast another successful instalment.
Like previous years, when Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction, Mogwai and Nick Cave were shunned by the crowds, it becomes all too apparent that for many ticket-buyers, the musical content of T is not all that significant to their weekend and The Proclaimers probably could play every year until they croak it and no one would complain.
It's worrying how easy it is to walk to the D-barrier during Muse's blazing performance while more alternative acts like The Black Keys and Rise Against play to very poor crowds considering the 85,000 strong attendance.
Tragically, for the smallest bands playing opening slots on the T Break Stage or the Red Bull Stage, they might as well still be in their bedrooms jamming for all the attention they attract.
In any given town or city across Scotland, the emergency services would have had to deal with crime or tragedy but it doesn't make it any easier to understand why two attempted murders and a serious sexual assault were recorded at Balado.
Everyone's saddened to hear of the death of a twenty-four year old in the campsite after the first night's festivities too.
THE SITE – 8/10
Sticking to their now trusted lay-out T In The Park functions with relative ease and the only moan is the congestion between the Main Stage and the NME/Radio One Stage as the big hitters change over – with a mud-bath underfoot not making the trek any easier.
Otherwise, even the most drunken revellers can successfully negotiate their way from the bars to the Slam Tent and back to the campsite without too much hassle.
GETTING THERE AND BACK – 2/10
Like most UK festivals, T In The Park is slap bang in the middle of rural obscurity so the fact 85,000 travellers from across the globe even get there at all is a minor miracle.
However, after some bright spark decided to block the main route, which runs past the site, (effectively splitting car parks into different areas) unhelpful or unaware event staff make the most simple job of directing motorists a complicated and unnecessary challenge.
“Hundreds of people are in the same predicament as you...” commented one steward. Helpful.
ATMOSPHERE - 7/10
Famed for its atmosphere, anything less than joyous high-fives and cartwheels all weekend is going to be a disappointment so it's much to the credit of the drenched and wind-battered crowd that any joy can be taken from sharing a field together.
Fun lovers decked out like cartoon characters and munching Soleros never fails to lighten the place up and at one point there's even a two-fingered salute to Mother Nature with the emergence of a few mudslides nearby the Main Stage.
Also, in the rain-free cavernous tents for sets by Calvin Harris and David Guetta, it could well be sun-kissed Ibiza instead of dreary Perthshire, and Mumford and Sons also orchestrate a hoe-down which would do any New Year party proud.
MUSIC - 6/10
For large periods of each day (Chipmunk into Scouting for Girls into Newton Faulkner into The Proclaimers...) fans who look beyond Radio One for aural satisfaction would be forgiven for begging for just a moment of something with a little more backbone about it; Modest Mouse, Thom Yorke, Explosions In The Sky, Eels, Bjork, Them Crooked Vultures... Please??
But it's hard to knock a festival which landed the UK coup of the summer with Eminem and sets by Jay-Z, David Guetta and Frightened Rabbit also prove to be gems over the weekend.
Click here for a review of Top Main Stage Bands and Best of the Rest.
* Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am dedicating '3 Words' to the lovely Cheryl Tweedy who was suffering from Malaria. And if that wasn't all, there was a Peas' tribute to Michael Jackson with their own renditions of 'Thriller' and 'Don't Stop Till you Get Enough' finished off with House of Pain's 'Jump'.
* Hackney songstress Paloma Faith trying to be down with the kids as she ask them to 'mosh' to the most soulful of tunes. Gentle swaying ensues.
* Healthy T: Fresh steamed mussels, venison burgers, trays of sushi, heaps of tasty stovies with helpings of veg in a small section of the site, which is set-up like a tribute to Glastonbury. “Get in ma belly!”
* The bi-polar weather. Unbelievably, some fans dressed head to toe in waterproofs and wellies left on Sunday night with SUNBURN!
From buckets of rain on the Friday morning to a clear but cold night, through a wet Saturday and into the high winds and spells of sunshine on Sunday – all that was missing was snow.
The Scots have had a lucky run of it in the past few years with sun splitting the skies so it was due a wash-out. However there's no denying the downpours dampen the famed T In The Park spirit and the search for sun-cream is always more fun than the search for ponchos.
* The campsite Swimming in mud and almost impossible to get into the arena thanks to a lack of communication between ticketing staff. There weren't very many happy campers on the opening day of T 2010.
*Mapless artists. If it isn't bad enough having to endure an entire set of Eminem shouting 'Come on Edin-burg' and Black Eyed Peas thanking 'Glasgow' even London's cheeky Chipmunk gets in on the act, looking for a reaction from a city on the other side of the country while performing to a crowd in Kinross.
The storming of David Guetta's rammed tent. Highly-charged fans who couldn't get a glimpse of the super-producer who filled the King Tut's Tent to beyond capacity on the Sunday night decided to ram a security fence.
Fair play to the brave woman security guard who attempted to lift the fence back up to thwart the stampede but surely no job is worth breaking both your arms for?