T IN THE PARK
As the first rock and pop festival of international stature to take place in Scotland, T In The Park could change the face of the Scottish summer for years to come. Over the next seven pages, The List previews the event and picks out some of the highllghts.
There’s a new appetite for outward- bound, all-day, all-night entertainment. Craig McLean sets the scene for an event that could and should provide an annual focus for the Scottish music industry.
‘The biggest problem I‘m having is convincing people that it‘s actually happening.‘ says Stuart Clumpas. managing director of music promoters DF Concerts. ‘There‘s been so many llops.‘ As problems go. it's not a bad one to have to contend with. Indeed. punter scepticism about A Big Festival in Scotland can mainly be ascribed to T The Park‘s own pre- event success. You mean to tell us that all these bands are playing in our backyard? In the no-man's land between Edinburgh and Glasgow? Within a couple of hours‘ drive of most major population centres in Scotland (and even the north of England)? Contributing to a line-up over the two days that. band-wise. combines the best of the cultish. alternative-stylee Glastonbury acts; the pulling- power ofthe big Reading-type acts. and the kind of ‘quality'. ‘adult' acts for whom such outdoor shebangs are not the normal preserve? You mean Scotland is hosting the summer festival season's best all-round line—up?
Yup. But as pointed out by Clumpas. prime mover (along with Tennents Live! and Irish promoters MCD) behind T In The Park. the precedents are not heartening. This year alone has seen a number of festivals fall by the wayside. mainly through
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organisational mismanagement. In England. mooted dance-orientated events at Lydd Airport and Greenham Common were shot down by local councils zealously policing site boundary limitations
l and restrictions on late-night entertainment. An
l attempt to resurrect the Isle Of Wight Festival. 25 years after Jimi Hendrix made his guitar go ‘weeeoooeehoohscreee'. was scuppered by a
combination of bizarre circumstances — a tour of the
l prospective site by organisers and council officials
l saw one of the party bitten by an adder. while a
group of residents emerged out of the woodwork.
lclaiming that they were still owed money from the original rock-fest.
Closer to home. the Scone Palace Rock and Blues ; Festival was to have taken place at the end of May.
()rganisers had been hoping to attract 2000 punters
T for each of two days. But with only a week to go, and
with cheque-hungry contractors turning up on-site.
; the event was cancelled. This is what you get when
you end up having to rely on hardy annuals and old
l'aithfuls like Fish. Nazareth and The Sensational
l Alex Harvey Band (without Alex Harvey). A month
; later. though, the Tarlair Festival in Macduff held its
l own. mainly down to the failsafe might of its two key
acts. Runrig and Wet Wet Wet.
Further back. Scotland's festival history is less than illustrious — mainly due to a combination of poor bills and the inclement weather that is endemic whenever folk engage in alfresco entertainment in Scotland. In the punk wars. thousands decamped to Loch Lomond Bear Park fora two-day festival featuring. among others, The Buzzcocks and the lAverage White Band. Justin Currie of Del Amitri.
quoted in the T In The Park edition of TLN. recalls meeting a member of The Dickies. But in the main, ‘the best things about it were the bonfires and lots of alcohol.‘ In 1979. lngliston showground was the location for The Big Day Out: Van Morrison. Talking Heads and The Undertones. with extra special guest. torrential rain. The word disaster trudges to mind.
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The List l5—28 July I994 7