T in the Park: the holy grail of young Scots ready to get mad wae it over a weekend of mud, booze and a belter of a line-up.
Thousands have made the pilgrimage to the Balado site year after year but for the first time in 22 years, the masses of tents and wellies descended on Strathallan Castle (rather chaotically, causing major delays and allegedly resulting in a fat fine from the feds, oops!). Despite being a bit smaller and with the addition of a castle backdrop, the site seemed to provide the same, winning TITP formula: mud, alcohol and more mud.
Hear the punters summarise T in 3 words and their musical highlights of the weekend.
Rain or shine, day or night, that lot were up for it. If you had a gap in your schedule the Cocktail Cocktail bar was always over-flowing with people getting down to the best of 90s r’n’b and classic hits. The only problem was that the majority of the crowd was too young to know Craig David’s back catalogue and I was mortified to find myself in the minority of 20+ years olds singing Usher, Burn word-perfectly.
When the rain came the unwritten rule appears to be that mud sliding and wrestling takes centre stage. Providing you are far enough away from the back splash, this is hilarious and well worth a watch. Given the climate and the alcohol intake during TITP, you are almost guaranteed to see this within the first two hours of the gates opening.
There is alcohol available everywhere at standard festival prices but if you take back your empties you get 10p/cup. Very few people bother to do this meaning that if you can be bothered, you can pay for ALL your booze in the arena by returning cups. Kate and I spent half an hour collecting cups and made £8.30 and we really didn’t try too hard. If you take back every cup you use, collecting spares on the way to the collection point you can easily earn yourself a couple of quid. We say a huge YES to recycling that gives you cash.
You can also trade in your band if you pay a bit extra to get access to the VIP zone. Don’t bother unless you reaaaaallly want a flushing toilet. The queues for the bar are longer, the beer is more expensive and techno at 3pm was all too much (but maybe we are too old…).
But to the music! The line up is always mega and this year followed suit brining some of the biggest names in pop to the stage. The festivalgoers we spoke to put Kasabian at the top of their highlights list, followed closely by Avicii and David Guetta, but Kate and I had different ideas. Below are some of our highlights of the weekend. If you scroll down you can listen to our highlights and reviews in full.
T Break Tent
George the Poet – Sensational. A high-energy, empowering and flawless performance. He filled the modest-sized tent easily and the proximity of the audience to the stage created an intimate atmosphere, which only enhanced his performance. We loved it. We even got back stage where his huge entourage was awaiting. He is a popular guy and I can see why.
Catholic Action – It is hard to believe such a slick and passionate group formed just a year ago. The stage was theirs and you felt like you were watching a headliner. Their performance brought the attitude that rock n roll requires (check they are rock n roll?!), complete with guitar smash at the end of the set. Ones to watch.
We caught up with Catholic Action after their performance:
Radio 1 Stage:
David Guetta - Everyone seemed to love him… apart from me and Kate. He played some good hits but missed out his best tunes (read Usher and Kelly Rowland) and there was a LOT of ‘waiting for the drop’. Admittedly had we drank as many ciders as everyone around us, we might not have been bothered about not being able to hear anything and would have enjoyed the chorus of ‘whoop that ass’ on repeat much more. Tip: you need to stand in the middle, even if you are far back. The sound is directed inwardly very well. If you are on the edge you might as well go back to the bar.
Wolf Alice – a woman!! There weren’t loads of female artists at TITP so it was nice to see a lady heading up the stage. They were loud, grungey and we loved it. They drew a huge crowd considering it was early Sunday afternoon and they didn’t disappoint.
Jamie T – Kate and I, along with most of TITP, could not wait for this guy. He played hit after hit and the crowd did not stop cheering. You could barely see a thing from the amount of people on shoulders but it didn’t matter because the atmosphere was insane. A few thousand people singing Sheila in unison was a festival highlight for me.
The Prodigy – Nuts. TITP veterans, they know what they are doing. Everything you would expect from a Prodigy performance. It was intense high-energy and the crowd was wild. This was also the only time during the whole weekend that I felt relatively young in the crowd, a welcome relief! Not being a devoted Prodigy fan I was pleasantly surprised at how many songs I knew and enjoyed watching 40 year olds mosh. Big tick from me.
King Tut Tut’s Wah Wah Tent
The Proclaimers – There is no point writing about anything else in this tent because The Proclaimers stole the show. Our favourite act from the entire weekend. AMAZING. We only knew three of their songs but it didn’t matter because the crowd’s love and passion were palpable. The tent was full to capacity and the chorus of Scots singing along was overpowering. It was one of those festival moments where you think ‘this is the best moment of my life’. Yes, really. There was so much pride in that tent that it brought a tear to my eye. GO AND SEE THEM.
The Main Stage
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – We have to admit we didn’t actually go and see Noel and the gang but as we walked past we did hear their rendition of Don’t Look Back in Anger. It sounded great and was obviously a huge crowd pleaser. I was pleasantly surprised but it goes without saying that they don’t have a patch on Oasis (though this may be unfair given we saw 3 minutes of their set).
Sam Smith – 10/10, one of our favorites. It was only his fifth performance after vocal chord surgery and he killed it. I for one have never been enamored with Sam Smith but I will be the first to admit he blew me away. He mashed up his tunes with classic hits from legends such as Aretha Franklin and Jackson 5, which was seamless and added that bit extra to his set. He was funny and self-deprecating and came across as an all round good guy. You have won me over Sir!
George Ezra – Everything you would expect. It was a perfect chilled set for a (rare) sunny spell over the weekend and he was charmingly humble as he recounted that he was in the T Break stage the year before. Cider was a perfect accompaniment for this one. Unfortunately, Ian McKellon did not make a guest appearance.
James Bay – The sun also graced the main stage during this set and it was marvelous. There was a huge crowd, his set was flawless and his closing song ‘Hold Back the River’ had the crowds clapping and singing and crying etc. We stood next to Bay’s biggest fan. Hear his rendition of ‘Let It Go’ below.
Avicii – So much rain and so many 16 year olds vomiting after drinking a bottle of bucky. Similarly to David Guetta, there was far too much build up in between each song and the crowd was so massive you could not escape being crushed. Also, it could have been anyone DJing, Avicii could barely be seen. He had some mad graphics going on though, 10/10 for the graphics.
Rudimental – fun, high-energy and so much going on. There were instruments galore, everyone was jumping around on stage and a lot of crowd interaction. We enjoyed Rudimental a lot!
Hear mine and Kate’s highlights from TITP in full here:
T in the Park should be on everyone’s bucket list if you are living in Scotland. It should come with a warning that if you are over 18 then you will feel old, but if you get into the spirit with a few pints of Tennants you can’t go wrong.
Buzzfeed eloquently summed up why it is a legendary festival here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukebailey/there-are-scarier-things-in-the-north-than-white-walkers#.bwzgK0A6ar
TITP YA BELTER!