The Big One - T In The Park 2009

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Gavin McInally | 03 July 2009

What Is It?
Scotland’s answer to Glastonbury – a behemoth of an event and winner of the 'Best Major Festival' award in 2005 and 2006. From its humble beginnings on Strathclyde Country Park in 1994, T In The Park has morphed into a world-renowned musical showcase with a line-up so absorbedly lavish there’s four main stage headliners booked for three days.

When and where?
For the eager beavers, there’s a £10 ‘bolt on’ ticket option to gain entry to the campsite shenanigans on Thursday (9 July), otherwise it’s Friday (10) through to Sunday (12) for standard campers and festival-goers at Balado Airfield, Kinross.

Who to watch


Come on, did you see those highlights at Glasto? Jesus, even the hippies were crowd surfing! And following a set by mass insomnia busters Snow Patrol ‘Song 2’ will sound like a tank’s just crashed into the main stage on Sunday night. Woooo Hoooo!

Nine Inch Nails
Rumour has it that old Trent Reznor is packing it in this year; so this may well be the American metallers’ last visit to Scotland after a series of jaw dropping gigs at the likes of the Barrowlands and the Academy in recent years. With camping tickets selling out before they were even announced and the Killers playing at the same time, chances are it’ll be an intimate affair at the NME/Radio One Stage on Saturday night.

There’s a worry the majestic Scottish post-rockers’ set in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent will clash with Damon Albarn’s southern louts on the Sunday but for those who do make it under the canvas to witness one of the finest instrumental rock band on the planet in full swing, they won’t want to be anywhere else.

We Were Promised Jetpacks
Let’s face it, even if they’re crap in the T Break Stage on Sunday night, you can always tell the grandchildren you saw the band with the best moniker ever.

Who to miss

The Saturdays

We’d be better off with The Fuel Girls than the latest girl group off the pop production line. Girls Aloud tours have support slots for a reason ladies, now where’s the strippers?

Peter Doherty
Okay, so he’s added an ‘r’ to his name, but can he open his eyes fully and stand up straight yet? Come back when you’ve cleaned those fingernails you dirty sod.

Kings Of Leon
Ouch, he went there! Yeah they are a brilliant band, admittedly a brilliant live band at that, but despite the fact that they’re from across the big pond, fans see the Followill brothers more often than their own siblings. That could’ve been Bruce Springsteen’s slot!

Playing a rare festival appearance

The Game

T In The Park bosses have an odd habit of chucking in a hip-hop curveball and, like Wu-Tang Clan before him, The Game will be one of the few performers outside the Slam Tent who won’t need a guitar for his set. He will, however, bring his bangin’ West Coast beats to the usually tranquil fields of Kinross, which will definitely be worth a gander.

Insider's Tip

If you want to actually see The View, Manic Street Preachers, Pet Shop Boys or any other big names playing in the tents instead of listening to them through a thick blue canvas, make sure you get there early or you will be blocked out by security. Full teams of stewards with ‘Tent Full’ placards are seemingly employed just to hammer home how much of a tit you’ve been for nipping to the toilet first.

Be at T In The Park if you love...
Experiencing proper, if a little tipsy, Scottish hospitality with fans of all ages, from the ravers to the tambourine bashers, coming together for a big group hug in the fields of Perthshire. The atmosphere is famous for a reason and where else are you going to pull off that ‘See you Jimmy hat’ with style?

Avoid if you hate...

Two for one offers, a mother’s cuddle, public holidays, getting out of the right side of the bed, casual sex, petrol price cuts… Other than the standard festival gripes- overpriced slops for food, nightmare toilets and sleeping in a sweaty tent - if there are any other complaints about T In The Park, festivals aren’t for you.

Festival Tactics

Don’t allow yourself to be rooted to the same spot by the Main Stage watching the same old festival fodder, check out the various stages on offer; bounce around the Slam Tent, have a Gay Gordon jig in the Ceilidh Tent or clap your eyes on the future Main Stage artists playing in the intimate BBC Introducing and T Break stages – Kings of Leon, The Killers and Fratellis didn’t begin their touring lives at the top end of the biggest stages.

The Healthy T eating area is an absolute must too – ditch that £6 prison food serving the van’s sign is claiming is chicken curry and enjoy a freshly made venison burger, some sushi or homemade soup instead.

Fashionista Or Folky

T In The Park falls somewhere in between Rock Ness and The Wickerman with its provision for the young dance fans and those who like nothing better than a bash at the Dashing White Sergeant and Military Two Step.

Alcohol of choice
Forget the choice, it’s Tennents, Tennents and Tennents… You just can’t escape the big red consonant in the yellow box.

Take your mum score - 5/10

The campsite is a riot no mum should ever have to experience, but should your old dear be hip enough to enjoy some Nick Cave and Elbow and wealthy enough to shell out for a mini yurt in The Residence, then it could well be right up her street.

Can I still get tickets?

Unusually, yes. Camping tickets sold out quicker than Andy Murray’s serve but day tickets are still available from www.tinthepark.com

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