Has T in the Park had it's day?
This one is going to be a bit left field but the blog can't all be about why you should book a DJ for your wedding. ;)
I LOVE this time of year for a couple of reasons - the wedding season is in full swing so I'm always on the go at gigs, meetings or even (and this sounds really sad but I quite enjoy it) doing admin stuff for the business.
Apart from that, it's always a great time for new music and old festivals.
I'm not sure if I'm getting old and crabbit or it really has been a bad year but I've been angered but mostly saddened by what I've seen of T in the Park this year. I've been on holiday trying not to pay too much attention to what's going on in the world but just as the Brexit stuff died down, my newsfeeds were filled with stories and footage from T in the Park. 2 kids, the same age as I was when I went to my first T, won't be going home to their families, a rape, missing young girls and a swathe of gang fights and that's before you get down to the nitty gritty of the one on one scraps, the rampant drug use (f you're an adult I'm happy for you to do whatever you want to your body as long as it's not harming anyone else but when you're doing copious amounts of whatever and drink in a cramped field with tens of thousands of people, the chances of your actions impacting others is much higher...) and the general twat-ish behaviour we've seen only - who knew happy slapping strangers was still a thing? Let's hope videoing someone doing a number 2 on someone whilst they sleep NEVER becomes a thing.
I'm not going to be patronising and say "it was never like that!!!" I went 4 or 5 years on the bounce from 2001 I think it was. There was still plenty of drinking, drug taking, daft behaviour and the odd scuffle but the festival was much smaller, much more manageable for the stewards and police and, maybe most importantly, people were generally there for the music not just to get blootered as quickly as you could and cause havoc all weekend. Of course there will be folk who went years before me that will say 2001-2005 were terrible because of the increase in trouble but where do you stop - are we going to be 10 years down the line going - It's rubbish now, it was much better in 2016 when there was only one rape and two drug deaths?!?
I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of why the festival seems to have changed, there's plenty of that on various social media platforms but I've had the chance to play at a number of festivals both large and small (nearly made it to the T Break stage once back in the day!!!) and the atmosphere is completely different - I stopping going to T because you could see it getting that little bit busier with that little bit more tension and aggro from the festival goers year on year. It's not like that at other festivals - people are happy to be their, they're into their music, they're still drinking, some are still doing drugs but you're not going back to your tent hoping someone's not used it as a portaloo or keeping an eye on who's around you in the crowd in case a fight breaks out.
It's a real shame because from what little I've caught up on performance wise, it was a stellar year with, headliners aside, a really cool fresh lineup for the first time in a good few years but all the papers and public will remember is the trouble that came with it.
I hope there's some response, there needs to be - their was an inquiry because of the state of the transport provision at last years... The Arches shut down because of a drug overdose on the premises - you can't have 2 die at a festival and brush it off - either it's too big to control properly or the organisers dropped the ball. Either way something needs to be done or it needs shut down.
The best I can come up with is split it into 2 smaller festivals - either one for guitar and pop stuff, one for dance stuff or on separate sites with the same general line up like Reading and Leeds. That won't change the make up of the attendees or their behaviour but 2 smaller festivals would be much easier to manage than one bloody huge one that can't be properly controlled.
Anyway that's my shout at the clouds rant for the week.
Have a good one whatever you're doing.