Monday 19 August 2019

High Flying Birds end T in the Park

Susan Boyle at the T in the Park music festival at Strathallan in Perthshire.
Susan Boyle at the T in the Park music festival at Strathallan in Perthshire.
Festivalgoers at the T in the Park music festival at Strathallan in Perthshire

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds were the final act to take to the main stage as T in the Park drew to a close after its first year in its new home.

The band brought the curtain down on the three-day event held at the Strathallan Castle estate in Perthshire for the first time.

Despite problems with traffic delays and reports of a crowd crush on Saturday evening, organisers hailed the festival - in its 22nd year - a success.

Showers turned the site into a mud bath, but that didn't dampen the spirits of tens of thousands of revellers who enjoyed dry weather and sets from artists including the Stereophonics, Paloma Faith, The View, Ella Eyre and James Bay on the final day.

A crowd of about 85,000 was expected on Saturday and Sunday, and Police Scotland had advised day trippers to plan ahead and follow event signs to avoid travel delays.

Fans reported long queues at drop-off and pick-up points on Friday and Saturday evening, with some cars becoming stuck in the mud last night and having to be towed.

Festival organisers apologised to those affected and issued updated guidance for drivers and festival-goers earlier today.

They struck a deal to shift the 2015 festival to the Strathallan site following health and safety concerns about an underground oil pipeline at Balado, where it had been held for 18 years.

Director Geoff Ellis said: "We may have a moved house but our fans have come with us - the crowd has been phenomenal and full of energy - all the acts have been commenting on it too."

On the delays, he said: ''A few things contributed to the delays and we are working hard to rectify them for tonight because this is obviously not the way we want to end what has otherwise been a positive experience for music fans.

''It's a brand new site and the weather wasn't kind to us yesterday which led to a lot of people having to be towed from the west car park slowing us down because we don't have the benefit of 18 years of infrastructure that we did at Balado."

Last night fans enjoyed performances from headline act Avicii, and other big names including Jessie J, The Script and Twin Atlantic.

The line-up today also featured The Prodigy, Idlewild and Clean Bandit.

Speaking just before taking to the main stage, James Bay said: "Scottish crowds are some of the best. And I'm not just saying it, I know everyone thinks oh he's just saying it, but I've played around the world and had a great time in front of a lot of crowds, but some stand out and Scotland is one of them."

Speaking after her set, Ella Eyre said: "It was insane. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but it was quite incredible if I'm honest.

"Scotland never lets me down to be honest though - incredible audiences, and I just couldn't believe how many people actually showed up.

"I am absolutely shattered now, but in a good way. I feel like they've worked me hard."

She added: "The thing I love about festival season is that every festival has its own little character. And one thing you don't get at Glastonbury is the Scottish crowd and the crowd is phenomenal, like you just know it's going to be a good show, and it really, really was."

Police reported there have been 44 arrests since campsites opened on Thursday.

Superintendent Colin Brown said: "Once again, the vast majority of T in the Park festival-goers have behaved themselves, enjoyed themselves and kept spirits high.

"We are very happy with the positive work of all agencies involved with this year's festival. If you are driving home this evening, please be aware of the new drink driving limits and make sure you are within these limits."

The Scottish Ambulance Service reported 606 visits to the hospital tent this year, compared with 858 in 2014.

Nick Moore of the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We would like to thank all festival-goers for adhering to our advice on how to prepare for this year's T in the Park, resulting in a notable drop in numbers coming through first aid."

Meanwhile, Susan Boyle was among the thousands of fans enjoying Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds finale.

The singer, from Blackburn in West Lothian, posed for snaps with fans and mingled backstage - wearing a native American head-dress.

Kodaline singer Steve Garrigan even posted a photo with Boyle to his Twitter account, adding "great to meet you".

PA Media

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