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T In The Park 2009: Rated!


United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Fahey | 15 July 2009

Overall – 8/10

Scotland’s 16th Tennants-fuelled party - we’re talking lager here, we haven’t even got to Neil from the Pet Shop Boys – proves to be another thrilling edition of T In The Park that owes much more to it’s crowd, than it’s line-up. Kings Of Leon’s third consecutive appearance and Snow Patrol’s sixth showing at the event are, for some fans, sticking points, especially with the likes of Oasis and Radiohead around this summer. Though, that said, it’s doubtful that any one person at this festival wants to be anywhere else in the world this weekend - for all that are here, this is the Scottish music lovers’ essential crowning showpiece.

Glorious weather for much of the weekend is a blessing and Blur nearly pulling out as Sunday night headliners keeps the crowd on their toes, but the oft-murmured ‘Scottish Glastonbury’ tag is a shadowy overstatement. T is more akin to V Festival with its musical overtones, backed by the punch of Reading, it’s just a shame that the more alternative acts playing suffer from small crowds over the entire weekend with the likes of Nick Cave, Mogwai and Nine Inch Nails desperately under attended.

The site – 8/10


The large site houses seven stages including two large outdoor ones – the main and the Radio 1/NME Stage – with the former sitting at the bottom of a natural hill, which prevents festival-goers from obstructing one another’s views. The King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent is huge and the boomerang-shaped Slam Tent just as big, except it’s hidden away from the main arena by hedge. The tiny BBC Introducing Stage hardly has anyone there all weekend; with more found at the traditional Ceilidh Tent, the small emerging bands hideaway – The Futures Stage – and the tiny T-Break Tent for local talent.

There is vast variety of eateries on show, with special plaudits going to Healthy T (see below), while TITP also boasts a number of fairground rides and games. With the arena being on a former airfield, there is plenty of grass to laze about on, with the camping just outside the gates rolling over a large hill.

Getting there and back -8/10


There are City Link buses that go direct to the festival site, but coming the relatively short distance from Glasgow for an extra £25 does make things a little more expensive, especially after fans have splashed out for a ticket. Though for an event that is the biggest carbon-neutral festival in the world, it does make sense, environmentally. Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh airports all serve international flights, so the festival is doable from around the globe and there are plenty of signs to the festival helping those who decide to arrive by car.

Atmosphere – 10/10

The atmosphere at Scottish events is completely untouchable and for T 2009, this is certainly the case. Chants of “here we go, here we go, here we fuckin’ go,” drowns out bands, flares are lifted for Blur and The Maccabees finally receive the response their music has deserved all summer: singing and dancing opposed to sullen side-to-side rocking. From the moment fans line up in paddocks waiting to get onsite Friday afternoon, to the hugging and hollering of ‘Flower Of Scotland’ on Sunday night, the feeling is euphoric, loud and most importantly contagious. Unbelievable.

Music – 7/10

Click here to read our Main Stage review.
Click here to read our Radio 1/NME Stage review.
Click here to read our King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent review.

Uppers

Healthy T

For a nation that is often synonymous with unhealthy eating, this foodie nirvana offers the cheapest, healthiest grub at the whole festival. The haggis, neeps and tatties are sublime and the stovies are a filling snack at the snip price of £4 – delicious.

Dominos Pizza
Okay, after blabbering on about the good healthy food, a Dominos Pizza stall probably shouldn’t even be mentioned, but it does mean people can have a proper pizza rather than the cardboard-tasting imitations they can pick-up elsewhere.

Downers

Tickets

With wristbands securely on, surely organisers can do without festival-goers having to look after their tickets for the whole weekend as well? Yes, the passes have barcodes on them, but so could the wristbands. Revellers, especially at a lager-branded festival, are likely to have one too many and lose their ticket – they lose wallets, phones and everything else – hence the huge queues in the campsite’s lost and found. “Erm, I can’t remember the exact number on my ticket, or where I think I lost it, but it was a green one and it had T In The Park written on it.”

Beers-borough

Late on Sunday evening, shortly after hearing that Blur may be late, many people headed to the main stage bar for more drink. But with so many having the same idea, people were getting crushed just trying to buy a beer. The head staff ignored shouts of, “you need to open the other end of the bar, people can’t breathe,” instead leaving the flaps down as drink got spilt, people were pushed and fights started. Anybody that did get served was told there was no beer or cider left – just red or rose wine: a pretty poor situation for a lager-sponsored event.

Random Events

Xenophobia

Hats off for enthusiasm to the man who made his way to the far corner of the site for Nick Cave for a little bit of xenophobia. The gentleman, well-lubricated and wearing double denim (both a jacket and jeans, like a walking Wrangler advert) simply turned up, lifted his beer and shouted: “fuck off back to Australia,” before leaving again. Nick Griffin could have a right-hand man in the making…

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Send to my phone!'Blur nearly pulling out on Sunday kept the crowd on their toes.'

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