Saturday night usually provides the most memorable moments of the festival – and 2015 was no exception. The Libertines played a storming set showcasing new material, Avicii closed the main stage to a packed audience, and T in the Park veterans Twin Atlantic took the final slot on the BBC Radio 1 stage.
Sam McTrusty said before their slot: “It’s absolute madness that we get to headline any stage here, it’s an absolute honour, but for it to be Saturday night on the Radio 1 Stage is just unreal. This is our 7th year at T in the Park and somehow you guys raise the bar for us every single year so thank you guys, you’ve made this. It’s so emotional because you’ve made this festival feel like a second home for us. It’s because of you we feel we belong.”
Justin Young (singer): “This is our third time at T, and we love the new site. Beautiful trees, rolling hills… no military-style hangars!
“When we played that first time, it was an uncertain time for us. It was our first summer on the road and we’d been hyped up so much, and T was one of the fist UK festival we played. We all remember standing backstage at the King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, wondering if anyone was gonna be there – then hearing 20,000 people chant our name. I don’t think we’ll ever forget that – it’s one of the really special memories of being in this band.
“We’re about to start a seven-week tour, going all over the place, everywhere from Croatia to Japan to Mexico to the US… So we’re very match-fit, but we know have to step it up a bit at T in the Park – at a festival you’re not preaching to the converted. And also the energy disappears into the ether rather than bouncing off the walls of a club, so you have to give a lot more. But the T in the park crowds are very up for it. I’ve been out for a little wander up the rolling hills and they look like they’re going pretty mental.”
Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards): “This site is much nicer. There’s trees, there’s grass, there are hills. It just feels a bit more like we’re all having a little camping holiday backstage, it’s quite cool. We played here three years and two years ago. Our first experiences of T was it was pouring with rain, but the crowd were really good – we were in a tent, I think everyone had piled in to get out of the rain, so we benefited! That was really great. Then the next year it was blazing sunshine, which was phenomenal.
“This site is more conducive to magic. A good festival I think has to be in a nice place, it’s not just about the bands that are booked. And we’re right by Gleneagles – it feels like beautiful Scotland.
“T in the Park have shown great faith in us, from really early on, so that’s why we’re back for a third time.”
Andy Brown (vocals): “We love this new site – it’s awesome. Absolutely epic. It’s beautiful mate, it really is – it’s like Center Parcs or somewhere! You look out from the Main Stage and you see a couple of trees in amongst the crowds. It’s lovely.
“And it was brilliant for us today. This is our third year at T, we started at T Break, then went to Radio 1 Stage, then today Main Stage. So that’s good transitioning for us as a band. And we were told that we pulled in about 7,000 people today, which is great. And the sun’s out as well, which is phenomenal.
“T Break was ace for us – that was our first break, pardon the pun. T in the Park was our first festival. So we were buzzing from that, then the step up to Radio 1 was a big change for us, we were like, woah… But then having done the Main Stage today we’ve decided: we want to be doing main stages from now on. And T in the Park is the best festival out there. Playing outdoors to a load of Scottish people who are loving it is just amazing for us.
“We’re about to start touring America, and we’ve got the rest of the year planned out. But we’ll always come back to T – any chance to come back here, we’ll always grab it.
“And the backstage at T in the Park is class as ever. The catering is renowned, the artists are all chilling out – it’s always just a great vibe.”
Kerr Okan (vocals): “We were the first band on the Main Stage on day two – and it was an honour. That’s the best way to describe it. We’ve come from literally the smallest stage at T in the Park, T Break to the biggest. We’ve built ourselves up over four years. And that today was a bucket list moment for our band. And something we embraced and enjoyed. But today I felt I was really in the moment and I enjoyed it just as much as the fans did.”
John Gerard (vocals/bass): “When we played the T Break Stage that was my first time at T in the Park. So to go then and be treated as well as we were, and have so many people packing in the tent to capacity – then to also not feel that you didn’t have to second-guess everything around you. You go to enjoy yourself and feel comfortable – ’cause the team here, whether at Balado or at Strathallan, have been phenomenal. It feels like second-nature to treat the bands brilliantly and make you feel comfortable as possible.”
Kerr: “Playing the T Break Stage was probably the thing that started snowballing The LaFontaines. We were the first unsigned band to close the tent because it reached capacity. And I remember things growing for us from that – offers started to come in. DF have a really good model, where they book you at King Tut’s and then they start to give you other opportunities. Everything starts to build from there. We are the epitome of what that’s all about. We started at the T Break Stage, and now we’re on the Main Sage. That’s huge. And it just speaks of the fact that Tennent’s and T in the Park want to help build bands.
John: “It’s becoming an old-fashioned model almost, for a band like us to organically grow from finishing your shift and quickly getting changed into your civvies and going to play a gig. ’Cause a with a lot of bands these days, they’ll throw money at you, then mothball you nine months later. And DF, T in the Park and Tennent’s embrace that model of hard work and building bands. And it works.”
Kerr: “This is our fourth year in a row here. After we did T Break, we headlined BBC Introducing. Then last year we got the opportunity to either play the King Tut’s tent or go back and be special guests at T Break. So we just thought that was just testament of where we started, so we went back and did it and was brilliant. And now we’re here Main Staging it – it’s unbelievable. We’ve had a fantastic time already. And I’m very much into the new site. It’s a bit more compact, it’s easier to get around. And that probably helped us out as well – as soon as people came in the gate they could actually see the Main Stage.”
John: “It’s a well-smart layout. I’m one of those people with no internal compass, so this is a dream come true for me.”
Kerr: “It’s a nicer site. Seeing that castle back there is quite stirring.”
John: “Before the public got in to the Main Arena, I went for a walk round the site. And the character in it is amazing – they’ve fenced off these beautiful old stands of trees, and they’ve looked after them. They’ve worked to make the environment as part of the experience.”
Charlie Reid: “There’s something about T in the Park – it feels more youthful than all the other festivals. V Festival is a bit older, Glastonbury has a lot of older folk. But T does seem younger. And that gives it an energy.
Craig Reid: “We’re busier than ever this summer. Our live show has been getting bigger and bigger. Maybe it’s something to do with the Sunshine On Leith musical and film… This is our sixth time at T in the Park, and it’s unique: it’s so specifically Scottish, and we’re so identified with Scotland, so it’s great to come and play here. You’re playing to a generation or two of Scots who have seen us, or are maybe seeing us for the first time.”
Charlie: “And that’s totally energising for us. There are only two ballads in our set, and the rest are just loud. That should work well for T in the Park! But this new site feels like a new chapter for T in the Park, and long may it continue. Like I say, it’s got that youthful energy. And I was watching Kasabian on telly last night, and they were really going for it. Bands do seem to love playing T in the Park. It’ll be here long after we’re gone!”
Josh McLorey (guitar): “We were first on the BBC Three/Radio 1 Stage today. Man, we thought no one was gonna come. Ten minutes before the show there was no one there. But as soon as we came out there were all these people going mad. It was brilliant.”
Ross Farrelly (vocals): “When we played King Tut’s Stage in 2013, I just remember it being an amazing gig. Because we’re a band we look out for each other.”
Josh: “We did a summer of festivals that year and when we came out the other side we were a better band. Our new album comes out next month and we’ve just got a lot better at playing. We were totally embraced by the T in the Park crowd last time, and we’ve played Scotland a couple of times since. It’s that connection between Celts. The crowds here are so up for it. They just go crazy and sing, and that’s what we think everyone should do at gigs. Put your phone away and get into it.”
Ross: “And you get treated so well here. Even the last time we were here it was all laid on for us in the backstage area.”
Josh: “The backstage is perfect. We noticed that last time, it was just so good.”
Tony Costello (vocals): “We were on in the T Break Stage today. We did King Tut’s last year, and it was a wee bit surreal ’cause Earl Sweatshirt pulled out at the last minute, and we had the pleasure of filling that slot. We were supposed to be playing the BBC Introducing tent, and we got bumped up, so it was really quite surreal. This year we felt we had more time to take it in and feel the atmosphere.
“As soon as we started the band we applied to play on the T Break Stage. We submitted all these recording that we’d done in our bathroom. But they were all good songs and we were thinking, ‘oh, we’re an absolute shoo-in…’ And we didn’t get in. That happened the next year as well. So we decided to take it seriously, we all moved in together, wrote as much as we could, gigged as much as we could, and just worked as hard as we possibly could. And applied again – and again we didn’t get T Break, but we were lucky enough to get BBC Introducing. So this year is our fourth time lucky with T Break.”
Mikey Dornan (drums): “And the T Break Stage has got bigger and bigger. It started off as a pretty small tent, but every year it seems larger. And the line-up is bigger. It’s one of the things that most attracts us to T. And Tennent’s have put the money in, and it really works.”
Tony: “It’s part of the DNA of Scottish music. When you look through the story of T Break through the last two decades, Tennent’s and DF have been huge supporters of new artists and Scottish artists, probably more so than any other individual organisation. It’s a privilege to play T Break because there are so many bands who could play it. And it is a case of perseverance as far as we’re concerned. We’re really lucky and we really appreciate it.”
“And this new site is very scenic. It makes use of Scotland as a place more than Balado did. People dot around Europe now to go to different festivals, they don’t just stick to one thing. And I think Strathallan will attract a lot of people from around the globe. It’s so scenic, and it gives you a taste of what Scotland is like. And again, T Break as well will give you a taste of what Scottish music is like. So I think it all ties in really nicely.”
PAUL HEATON & JACQUI ABBOT
Paul Heaton: “I didn’t know until today that we’re one of only three artists to play all three T in the Park sites [alongside The Prodigy and Noel Gallagher]. I don’t remember much about 1995 with The Beautiful South, but 2005 – I don’t think that was very good! I think we were in a young person’s tent. But having said that, today there were lots of young people in the tent watching us. Although I did wonder that when we walked out people were thinking, ‘oh, it’s Jack Savoretti’s mum and dad…’
“But it’s always been good up here at T in the Park. People get into the party spirit. At other festivals they tend to try and get their place in front of a stage and keep it. But while they do do that here, people do also seem to be up for roaming around.
“This new site is nice. I’ve come up here on my bicycle, and it’s a beautiful part of the world. And it was lovely driving up the east coast from Newcastle today.
“But I think there’s a general warmth about T in the Park, and people flock here and have a good time. And I do think it probably makes a difference to the punter that they’re somewhere nice. And it has been sunny and picturesque.
“We’d be up for coming next year – and if they move it again obviously we’ll definitely come. But Strathallan seems like a lovely place for T in the Park, so I think they should stay.”