Scotland

T in the Park festival 'to take a break'

TITP crowd Image copyright Andrew Milligan/PA
Image caption T in the Park's current site is at Strathallan Castle

Scotland's largest music festival, T in the Park, is to take a break next year, its organisers have confirmed.

DF Concerts said it needed to "take stock" and that the two years since the festival moved to Strathallan from Balado "have had their challenges."

The promoter said "continued restrictions" had had a "negative impact" on festivalgoers.

It added that the limitations placed on their fans' experience were "too great".

The organisers said: "We now need to take stock and take a year out to try to resolve the issues so that we can once again deliver the kind of camping festival you are used to and deserve."

The festival's first year at Strathallan in 2015 was plagued by traffic problems, leading to organisers implementing a transport plan for this summer's event.

Two teenagers died at this year's festival in separate incidents, while witnesses reported fights and illicit drug use in the campsite area.


The history of T in the Park

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption T in the Park moved from Balado after 2014

Scotland's largest music festival has been held every year since 1994, when Rage Against the Machine and Primal Scream were the headline acts.

The first three years took place at Strathclyde Park, near Hamilton in Lanarkshire, before it moved to Balado in Perth and Kinross.

Over 17 years it grew to a three-day festival attracting 225,000 people, including 70,000 campers.

In 2015 the festival moved to Strathallan Castle in Perthshire.

The move was prompted after "substantial" concerns were raised by health and safety inspectors about an oil pipeline which ran underneath the Balado site.

Planning permission for the July 2015 event was only approved two months before the festival, following public consultations on the move and concerns over a pair of nesting ospreys at the site.

The 2015 event drew the largest number of complaints and negative comments in the festival's history, with "significant traffic congestion" highlighted.

Organisers responded by announcing a revamp of the transport plan, arena and campsite ahead of this year's event.


'Against our will'

In a statement the organisers have now said the festival will not take place in 2017.

The statement by DF Concerts and founding partner Tennent's Lager said: "Against our will, and despite a prolonged fight, we were forced to move from Balado, Kinross in 2015.

"This move was a mammoth task for the event and one that was compounded by a series of onerous site restrictions placed upon us as preparations for the event in 2015 took place."

It said that the logistical and financial constraints placed upon it by those planning conditions are "simply not workable".

The company added: "We tried our best to work with the pressures placed upon the site by bringing in an additional team and fixing the first year traffic issues, but ultimately we're not in control of the overall site layout and the continued restrictions means that the negative impact on our fans and the limitations placed on their experience is too great."

Image caption Scottish star Calvin Harris headlined the Saturday night this year

Strathallan councillor Tom Gray, who is convener of Perth and Kinross Council's development management committee, said he was "disappointed" at the announcement.

He said the decision on whether the festival would return to the site in 2018 was "entirely up to DF Concerts".

Mr Gray said: "I would like to see it back because it is some sort of help to the area.

"The first year was a big learning curve. Last year was a big improvement, no question about that.

"But I can only wait and see what they will apply for next time around and consider it then."

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