Despite already selling thousands of tickets and announcing The Stone Roses as headliners, Scottish festival T In The Park may not be granted a licence to go ahead this year.
Last year the festival was held at its new location at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire for the first time, and a catalogue of issues and widespread chaos at last years T has been highlighted in a local council report.
The issues last year were so bad that officials at Perth and Kinross Council have warned they will not allow T in the Park to be staged again at Strathallan Castle unless there is a complete and comprehensive overhaul of the events planning.
The problems faced by T In The Park last year – which include huge traffic congestion, campsite security, crowd safety concerns and disruption to residents – have been outlined in a damning dossier, which cast doubts on the viability of this years festival.
The councils report ultimately described the confidence in festival promoters DF Concerts as ‘undermined’ following last years events, and reported a series of organisational failures covering the festival infrastructure, last minute changes to the festival layout, poor security arrangements and transport plans and repeated breaches of the agreed planning permission.
The council has now reported a string of organisational blunders, including last-minute changes to the event’s layout, infrastructure, transport plans and security arrangements, as well as repeated breaches of the event’s planning permission.
What do T In The Park organisers need to do now?
Speaking to The Scotsman newspaper, Barbara Renton, the Environmental Director at Perth and Kinross Council, outlined exactly what organisers need to do in order to be granted a licence for 2016:
Council staff will need substantial reassurances and evidence from DF that detailed plans will be prepared on time, and the event will be delivered more effectively, before officers could have confidence in recommending it takes place at Strathallan again.
Officers had a high degree of confidence in DF Concerts and expected that organisers could manage fundamental event requirements such as stewarding and signage. This confidence has been undermined following management of TITP 2015. There requires to be a recalibration of the relationship with DF Concerts.
In response to the council’s report, T In The Park organisers said in a statement:
We have worked with Perth and Kinross Council for the last 20 years to deliver T in the Park. We’re incredibly disappointed that, for the first time, we did not achieve the high standards of event management and customer service that we have set for ourselves which the Council and our customers have, quite rightly, come to expect.
We note all points of Perth and Kinross Council’s report as published and remain focused on implementing key changes for 2016. We will not be disappointing ourselves, Perth & Kinross Council, the local community and especially our fans in 2016 and in truth, we look forward to being able to demonstrate that.
Just last week, we confirmed some new appointments to our management team. APL Events will now oversee the festival site management overseeing the necessary alterations to improve the onsite experience.
We also announced the appointment of Colin Brown as Security Manager and Ian Martin as Traffic Manager. Colin Brown, was formerly Superintendent for Emergency, Event and Resilience Planning for the north region of Police Scotland and has led the police operation in planning for T in the Park for several years.
Ian has worked on the local roads of Perth and Kinross for over 20 years, and has also worked on the road planning for T in the Park since its first year at Balado.
These are just the first examples of the important changes that both Perth & Kinross council and our valued audience can expect for 2016. We’re entirely focused on delivering a fun, safe and successful festival that reminds everyone why T in the Park became Scotland’s favourite music festival in the first place.
What do I do if I have a ticket for T In The Park?
Right now – just sit tight and hope the festival gets the go-ahead for 2016.
It’s unlikely that the organisers will fail in their bid to convince the local council they can host a safe and successful festival, so this is likely to all blow over.
Be sure to keep your eye out for any developments in the story though.