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T In The Park 2011

Nuala Swan

Triangle

2011 will mark the 18th year of Scotland’s biggest music festival, the famous T in the Park, where 85,000 fans will see 180 artists play across 11 stages. The line up has yet to be announced, with only Foo Fighters and Blink 182 confirmed as yet, but all the early bird tickets that have gone on sale so far have sold out. So what makes T in the Park so special that people are willing to pay nearly 200 quid for a weekend ticket without even knowing who’s playing?

First off, it’s not just a festival fans love being at; time and again we hear of bands gushing about how much they love the atmosphere at T, along with the old (but true) cliché that the Scottish fans are the best in the world. For the Scottish acts in particular it’s always described as something of a homecoming. So that’s magic ingredient number one, the artists are loving it as much as we are.

Next up, the diversity of acts on offer. Take a look at the 2010 line up: on the Main Stage alone, where you might expect the organisers to play it safe and opt for all the festival regulars, you have acts as varied as Skunk Anansie, Vampire Weekend, Eminem and Biffy Clyro. Where else would you have Kasabian following Jay Z? Dance music lovers have their Slam Tent, or if it’s something traditional you’re after, head down to the Ceilidh Tent and get your Dashing White Sergeant on.

Then you have the newer acts who are really getting their first break here. The T Break Stage is in existence especially for this purpose. Every year, unsigned Scottish bands are selected to play here, Paolo Nutini played it back in 2006, and now he’s to be found as a regular fixture on the Main Stage. The Futures and BBC Introducing stages are also places to see the new “Next Big Thing” or simply enjoy hearing someone new.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, it’s just a right good laugh. Many people make a yearly pilgrimage to the Balado site to sit in the sun (if they’re lucky anyway), have a few drinks and join a crowd of like minded souls to see their favourite bands play in an amazing atmosphere. Hopefully this year I’ll get to join them once again.