The Truth about T (in the Park)

This weekend (12th of July 2015) I visited T in the Park and left less than 24 hours later. If you read my blog, you’ll know that I don’t usually blog about things like this however I feel like this is something that just simply needs to be said; and might save some people from wasting a lot of money.

I was very apprehensive at first about buying my ticket, it’s a lot of money (£200) for student like me to shell out however I decided I would work longer and more frequent shifts at my job in order to cover the costs. Buying individual tickets for everyone I planned on going to see would cost £500+ so I told myself it was worth it. I worked over 77 hours at my part time job on minimum wage to save enough money to get my ticket and spending money. That’s a lot of hours for someone who is a full time student and took me quite a long time to save. A few months went by and I got increasingly excited about everyone I was going to see. George Ezra, Marina and the Diamonds, Hozier, Kasabian, James Bay, Alt-J… and many more. It was my first time away on my own and I got so excited to spend the weekend with some of my best friends listening to some of my favourite music. I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t contain myself at the thought of seeing Marina and the Diamonds, she’s been one of my favourite ever artists since I was 15 and was one of the main reasons I decided to go.

After a six hour drive and a lot of wrong turnings, we finally got there with a few hours to spare before Hozier started, the first act we planned to see. After spending what seemed like all eternity looking for the car park, we finally hauled all of our luggage to the front entrance, only to end up queuing for half an hour. I know that doesn’t sound too bad, queues are expected however we were just made to stand there for no apparent reason, no one was being let in. Then I got my bag ‘searched’, everything was okay and I was let through so I walked out of the way whilst my friends got searched. Ten minutes later I could see my friend in distress and something being thrown in the bin and smashed. No glass bottles are allowed, which is a fair rule I believe. However they threw away her mirror and mac foundation and would only let her take it back to the car if she rejoined the queue, which was now at least a mile long and would mean we would miss Hozier, someone we all couldn’t wait to see. This made us all pretty upset, I for one would feel so uncomfortable without any foundation on and I’d be gutted if my Estee Lauder double wear got taken away from me, I can only imagine how she felt.

After an HOUR long walk to our campsite, we threw our belongings in and trekked all of the way back to the stages. We expected it to be quite a walk, but not quite that long. It was horrendous! We practically sprinted and when we got there, we missed the majority of Hozier and only caught three songs. Once it was finished we decided to have a little look at the venue before the next act we wanted to see came on, we went to the little supermarket that they had and looked at the surrounding area. By this point, we had been in T in the Park for precisely three hours at most and already weren’t having the best time. Now, festivals usually involve drugs, there’s no secret about that. I wasn’t surprised when I heard of people taking them however nothing, absolutely nothing prepared me for the horror that we endured. There was a poor girl, rolling and kicking around in the mud on the floor with security guards sitting on her, and female staff covering her with their jackets to ensure she was kept dignified (at this point she had barely any clothes on). First aiders couldn’t do a thing.  They just stood there and watched. I don’t know what she had took or if she had been spiked, but it was very distressing to watch and all I could think about is how devastated her parents must be and the friend she was with was clearly upset. She was only about 15 years old.

After that it was time for Kasabian, a band I’ve liked for a long time and of whom my friends love. We were all so excited and had a wonderful time listening to them. Something I cannot fault are the performances themselves. They were amazing and we had a great time then. However it was the people that ruined it. I’m not exaggerating here, I promise. It seemed like almost EVERYONE was on some sort of drug. It was so scary seeing people in some of the states they were in. It ruined it for a lot of people that came to enjoy themselves and I felt as though the festival wasn’t even about the music, just an excuse for people to take whatever they could get their hands on for three days straight. During Kasabian a woman asked ‘what I was on’, insuniating that I had taken something. The fact it was so normal here just bewildered me. It’s a persons choice whether they take drugs or not, but this was on a whole other level.

I just want to say, I didn’t expect T in the Park to be a glamorous or particularly pleasant camping experience however I did think that I would have some fun by having a few drinks with my friends and enjoying myself. However with some of the people there, it was not possible. I couldn’t help but worry about so many people there. It got to 5am and I was absolutely desperate for the toilet, I hoped I could hold on until I went to tesco the next morning but I couldn’t. I had to go. I walked along to the toilets on my pyjamas to be greeted with the most disgusting thing I’ve ever, ever seen in my entire life. A woman told me to visit a disabled toilets as it was a lot cleaner and when I asked a security guards, they said there weren’t any. I explained that I physically could not use the ones that were provided and at this point I was in pain. They offered to take me to the VIP toilets and obviously I said yes. After a short walk I was presented with clean toilets. I felt like I had won the lottery. I am so thankful for them, they were very kind. One of them (I sadly have forgotten his name) walked me back to my tent to ensure I got back okay and we quickly got chatting. He told me about how his son was coming to the event and I told him about my blog and condition. He was such a lovely person and give me a hug when he dropped me off and told me to stay safe.

On the Saturday (yesterday, when I am writing this) my friends and I traveled to Tesco in Perth to collect some supplies and I got myself a few drinks to have at the camp with my friends. When we got back to the camp we all sat around and I had a few drinks with our other friends that were there whilst we listened to some music. Word quickly got around and we were informed that a man had died at the toilets a mere 5 yards from our tent. We were in utter shock. It’s not confirmed what it was however it’s highly speculated that it is drug related. The BBC confirmed that it was a 36 year old man. So much ran through my mind. Did he have children, a wife? How would they feel? Was he spiked? It was absolutely heart breaking.

I had a drink whilst I waited until it was time to see Marina and the Diamonds, I was so so excited and we started to walk down towards it when my friend, let’s call her G, started to feel sick. G and I were both so hyped about seeing Marina and the Diamonds together as we both love her music. We had been talking about it for months and listened to Froot, her newest album in full in the car on the drive there, both singing along. When we got into the tent that it was being held at, she needed to stand at the back and told me to go further in and she would meet me. Marina quickly came on and there was no sign of G, so I thought she was just standing at the back because she felt ill. I was with a different friend and she was with someone, so I decided to stay there. I met some lovely girls there who let me go in front of them, because I’m so short and I was quickly at the barrier. I had an amazing time and this gig felt different. It was full of girls and boys like me. There because they loved Marina and we were all singing our heart out and dancing with each other. It was like a breath of fresh air and I had an amazing time. Upon it finishing, my friend and I left to go find our other friends. With no sign of them, I rang them and found out she was in the medical tent. She could not stop throwing up and was told if she didn’t get better, she may have to have her blood tested or go to hospital. G then rang her parents who said they would come and pick her up and I said I would go with her. I wouldn’t let her go back home alone, that’s not fair. Friends are meant to stick together. We then all decided as a group that it was probably best to leave anyway due to the situation we were in and the awful things that had happened.

At this point, we feared for our safety and didn’t want to risk anything. Especially with G being unwell, it wasn’t fair. We made our way back to the tent and I asked some stewards if there was any way that G was able to get assistance to getting to the car park. They told us that they cannot drive her there however were able to help her with bags. As she was unwell, she was weak and felt faint. Definitely not able to carry all of her things and there was no way that we could carry them for her, much to our dismay. We were thrilled that they offered us assistance and quickly packed our things. When we went back to the help point, they turned her away. They said they could not help us, even though she was unwell. G was physically unable to carry her belongings however we had no choice. The walk was too long to do again and we did not want to risk her things being stolen if we left them for another trip. We felt as though the stewards were judging her, as if she had a hangover or had taken drugs and that her illness was her fault. She had not had either and was sure she was unwell due to the stress that she had endured at T in the Park. We were very fortunate and as we started walking there we saw a friend of ours who offered to carry her belongings.

As we got to the car park we could hear George Ezra, who is one of my all time favourite artists and my friends love him too. We were absolutely devastated to miss him any many more acts however we had to leave as we feared for our own safety. Something that we should not have to worry about. In total I saw Hozier, Sam Smith, Kasabian and Marina and the Diamonds. We anticipated seeing at least fifteen over the course of the weekend.

Security were very aware of the drug use and blatantly chose to ignore it. Without drugs, T in the Park would not exist. Why do you think the security is so lenient? They don’t ‘check’ bags, they feel for glass bottles and only peer inside. There are no detectors for drugs and quite frankly, someone could be waving them around and still be let in. If drugs weren’t such a big part of the event, I believe the majority of the festival goers wouldn’t be there. Nor would they sell anywhere near the amount of food, drinks and merch that they do. They completely exploit the young teenagers on drugs for their own financial gain, of which is completely and utterly wrong. They were so easily accessible and it seemed and normal it was to be taking them. To me, it feels like T in the Park is more of a three day event for people to escape reality and get high with their friends. It isn’t about the music and it certainly isn’t anything like it looks on TV.

On Saturday, on an article I read at 3pm, 25 people had been arrested that day. A shocking amount of people. Shockingly low. A man got  beaten by bottles (of which there is a viral video of), tents and belongings were stolen, drugs were getting sold and many more activities were going on. There were hardly any police and absolutely no one patrolling any of the campsites. Security was absolutely abysmal and virtually none exitant. It comes to something when a security guard wouldn’t even let his own son camp there, it shows how little faith he has in the event.

In 2014, over 3.5 million people attended a music festival in the UK. That’s a lot of people and a LOT of money being spent. £16 million+ on ticket sales alone. Nevermind the money that they get from advertisement, add ons, vendors and more. I understand that it costs a lot to put a festival on, however there’s no denying that there’s a hefty profit involved. That’s all it’s about though. It’s a business. They’re there to make money and seemingly have no care for people’s welfare.

That’s not all though. Read these articles;

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/perth-kinross/man-hit-by-bus-outside-t-in-the-park-site-1.889477

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/perth-kinross/facebook-video-of-t-in-the-park-bottle-attack-being-investigated-1.889291

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-33492514

If security was tighter, maybe that man may not have died, a man would not have been beaten with a bottle, a woman would not have had her entire tent and belongings stolen.

A man was ran over by a bus due to poor road management, a girl was trampled, venues were too small, traffic jams lead to young girls sleeping rough on the side of a road whilst waiting to be picked up, traffic jams leading to people missing acts that they paid money to see. The whole event was an absolute shambles. It’s not acceptable in the slightest.

I ask of you, please share this around. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Everywhere. I want everyone to see it and do something about it. The way innocent people, including my friend, have been treat is not okay. You go to a festival to have fun with your friends, listen to music you love and have a great time. Not to endure what we, and thousands of others, did. It shouldn’t have came to what it did and we should not for a second have doubted our safety. I hope the majority of the people at that festival had an amazing time, I really do. But judging by the comments on social media by other attendees, I’m not the only one feeling angry.

Thank you for reading this, my next post will be a lot happier, I promise.

Katie x

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34 Comments

  1. Micky Arif :)
    July 12, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    Hello!
    Beautifully written Katie, like i really got the imagery through. I liked your take on the situation at T- in the Park but perhaps I could offer another interpration?

    The use of drugs at festivals is excessive but as security gets tighter demand for the drugs gets higher. If no drugs are getting in the festival than everyone at the festival is going to dangerous lengths to get a small supply. Now just because drugs are banned does not mean people stop wanting them– like you said in your article, its just a weekend where people get high with there friends and thats exactly what they want to do (and they will most defiantly find a way of escaping for that weekend)
    You don’t have to ‘fear for your own safety’ in a room full of people off their nut on dopamine/typimaine stimulants, the reason that woman talked to you at Kasabian was because she was feeling a love buzz. Of course its synthetic but everyone on drugs in that room was feeling the same thing – extreme empathy.

    But hey, maybe if you joked on with some weirdo’s on dugs you would of felt a little less uncomfortable! People’s instincts on drugs aren’t anything too malicious i can assure you!

    Its a horrible shame that man died but i think the security quite a thin line to walk between protecting people and letting them have their freedom. IF they arrested everyone who was on drugs in that tent, all it would do, is cause more problems. A person on drugs is paranoid enough as it is, imagine if they saw people getting thrown out for being peacefully on drugs: they’d get more anxious! Its a weird self-forfilling-prophecy as they become more anxious they become more unstable/dangerous.

    It would be great to live in an enclosed world where no one can do you any harm, no one can be intoxicated and the staff will look after your bag and be ready to aid your friend but unfortunately a festival is not like that. A festival isn’t ‘safe’ as you would define it, it’s thousands of people in a field listening to music, some times that is uncomfortable. The tents are uncomfortable the walks are uncomfortable, the tiny amounts of food and little sleep. But it’s that liberty and un-structuredness of a festival that indeed makes it the festival experience. And that liberty does mean yes people can be on drugs but people can be free to talk to strangers, dance to their favourite music and free to socialise in weird places too! Free for just 3 days before they return to their mundane lives working minimum wage jobs and spending there monthly pay on bits and pieces festival tickets. ahah

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy your experience Katie! Maybe next time your festival experience will be more fun!

  2. Rebecca
    July 13, 2015 / 4:49 am

    It’s a total shame that people spoil it. Drugs have always been part of the music festival scenes from way back when the hippies used to take them but the difference now is the sheer amount and potency of these new concoctions and the fact that people feel the need to have to take these drugs to have a good time! Personally I have never fancied places like T in the Park for that reason. Stick with the concerts at the Arena and pay the money of you want to have a happy experience with your favourite bands. Sorry you had to see what you did Katie but it’s a real eye opener to the Real not so nice side of the world.

  3. Dom
    July 13, 2015 / 9:35 am

    Hello, really sad to see this and I’m devestated that you didn’t have fun, I’m 18 and have been to T for the past 2 years (not this one), I feel when watching this T on the television that it is not as safe and not as planned out which is a real shame as the last few have been absolutely amazing. I’d just like to say if this is your first festival then please don’t base your opinion and knowledge on this experience I promise if you try another festival you will see they are a LOT stricter.

  4. laura
    July 13, 2015 / 9:39 am

    I was at t on Friday. This was my 10th time at the festival, I have camped 8times but the last 2 years decided to just go for the day.
    This year was the I my year that I have been scared. The drug use etc is normal at t, I don’t even drink there so it can get annoying when people are falling all about you but it’s what you expect.
    I was more scared of the rack there were no security. There was a bottleneck in the layyou between the main stage and king tuts with people getting crushed and pushed over. There was also no signing on how to get back to the car park. Being sober i remembered but my mates didn’t and no one would tell them where to go, I waited in the car for over an hour on them. The way back to car park was not light for most of the way. Meaning it was the perfect place to be attack ( luckily I didn’t see one attacked).
    I think the event was far too unorganized compared to previous years. Things had been put up and planned in a hurry. I think it will much better next year after some proper planning

  5. Chic rodgers
    July 13, 2015 / 10:20 am

    What a shame. My experience was wholly different. I drove to Auchterarder parked and within 20 minutes of parking the car I was in the arena. Timing is essential . The first time event held at Strathallen bound to be hiccups. Never saw one person take drugs although you could tell there were many on them. How can you police that. The stewards left a lot to be desired though. They were trying to act like a hi viz vest was a uniform that all must obey and yes they were very pedantic when it came to what you could take in. I’ve had less hassle at the airport. Coming home didn’t wait for the headliners. Home in an hour from leaving festival watched Kasabian from the comfort of my armchair. Was all atmosphered out by that time anyway. Great atmosphere in my own house my own bed to sleep in and not having to queue in traffic for hours. Things will get better. I remember the first year they opened on Friday at Balado. 5 hours to travel 2 miles and that was just to get in. Don’t let your bad experience put you off what could be further years of good festival. Thing are no better at Glstonberry or the other big festivals. You can’t move 80,000 people around with no hold ups. Plan things yourself by asking other people their experience and pick up a few tips.

  6. Natalie
    July 13, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    I am so sorry you experienced a bad time after spending all that money 🙁 I went last year and agree that drugs were everywhere every night all I heard was can you do me a line and people arguing because they were so off their faces. It really is a shame that the people who do drugs ruin it for everyone else x

  7. Pippa
    July 13, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    i really loved reading this; I personally have never liked or entertained the idea of a festival. I like my music unadulterated and intimate to the artist I enjoy; giving my money exclusively to them and not to an engineered environment of debauchery, drugs and drunkeness.

    With that in mind, your blog post should be read as much as possible!

  8. Karen
    July 13, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    So sorry you had a bad experience, and let me assure you it isn’t typical of our lovely country! I went to TitP last year and what a great experience – yes, there were a few folk on drugs but for the most part they were dealt with pretty quickly by the strong security teams, and there were sniffer dogs at the entrance for all 3 days. we saw quite a few getting carted off by the police after the dogs took an interest in them! The campsites, which were very close to the arenas,were also patrolled stringently. It was a smooth operation and most everyone had a great time. I think, from reading lots of reviews and comments, that this was all very much lacking this year, and the general consensus is that the venue (new) was all wrong…too small, not accessible enough, terrible layout, road access shocking, security presence was a joke which meant jackpot for the opportune thieves skulking around the campsite, able to get in because many people weren’t even getting their tickets looked at. I hope they bring back TitP to its original venue at Balado..they really know what they’re doing there and make it a pleasurable experience for everyone. Please don’t let this put you off coming back to Bonny Scotland!

  9. Sam
    July 13, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    Good on you for writing this Katie. Your blog will be shared and you will take a lot of critisism focusing on your makeup comments more than the actual message here.

    A music festival is meant to be just that – a place to see live music, but people treat it as an excuse to make a mess of themselves. They’ll happily pay £200 and not remember a thing from the weekend. T in the Park is the absolute worst for this bar none.

    A colleague’s young daughter went a few years back, ecstatic to see Beyonce and went home early, uncomfortable being surrounded by people encouraging her to try coke at 17 years old.

    I’m sorry to hear of your terrible experience and I’m sorry to hear about your friend as well, I hope she’s ok. I hope this doesn’t stop a young music fan such as yourself going to concerts and believe me when I say that there are some great music festivals out there around the UK and abroad. I can guarantee you will never experience anything as bad as this again.

    I went 5 years on the trot when I was younger because it was and for the most part still is the only place in Scotland to see a lot of bands over the course of a weekend. The value for money (although getting worse by the year) can’t be argued with. People will say “what do you expect from a music festival?” but the final straw for me was knowing someone was stabbed to death in the campsite (2008) and I never returned. I’m no prude, but T in the Park is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    Fair play to you.

  10. Martin
    July 13, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    Hi Katie

    Reading your blog and can appreciate concerns with the lack of organisation at this years event. I’ve been for past 14 years and that’s by far the worst.

    However your concerns are those of a young inexperienced person and the term ‘man up’ is needed to a certain extent. Don’t mean that to sound harsh.
    Festivals, especially T can be a bit rough but in the main they are ok and safe. You just need to be a bit street wise. Also, u look after yourself and mates, you can’t get to concerned with people who got the self into a state.

    I hope T makes major improvements next year and if you go again that you have a better time.

  11. Annie
    July 13, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Hi, I also went to T in the Park this year and a lot of this article resonates with me. I was shocked by the amount of drugs clearly visible and the amount of people casually stoned out of their skulls. However, we did see a man drop a bag of coke infront of us and security grabbed him pretty quickly. That having been said, there should have been police patrolling the whole site. I worried about a lot of the people I saw clearly stoned/drunk and incapable – where would they sleep that night? they were unable to find their way back to a tent or find their friends. It seems that the organisers accept that drugs and excessive drunkenness are simply what constitutes a festival and decided to turn a blind eye to the obvious smell of weed and the amount of people very very obviously on drugs.

    Something else which angered me was the water situation. You weren’t allowed to take any liquids from the campsite into the arena, not even water. Then once in the arena prices for just a bottle of water were ridiculously high. It was hot and many people could have ended up dehydrated and sick and unable to buy water.

  12. Annie
    July 13, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    All of this being said, the acts I saw were brilliant and very worth it. I would simply recommend getting day tickets instead of the whole camping/rivers of mud/revolting portaloo situations.

  13. Gillian Gallacher
    July 13, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    I was there also but had a completely different experience.

    I was searched and patted down at the door and had read the rules so knew glass bottles weren’t allowed so didn’t take perfume or make up in glass as I knew it would be confiscated. You say security aren’t doing enough bit complain that they took your friends make up…

    Yes there was lots of drugs. It’s a musical festival unfortunately it’s part of the culture. I just stayed away from it.

    The toilets where disgusting but again it to be expected. I had prepared for it with seat liners, wipes and anti back gel.

    Yes it is a hike from the campsite but again it’s for your safety. Would u really want all your belongings in reach of 50 thousand day ticket holders?

    Maybe the next festival u should try is radio one big weekend? I went last year and it was a complete different event. More family friendly and more safe.

    Sorry it wasn’t for u x

  14. Alan
    July 13, 2015 / 5:00 pm

    Unfortunately in recent years TITP has become a right-of-passage for Scotland’s teenage neds who have no interest in the music and are only interested in getting as “mad wi it” as possible (reflected in booking the likes of Avicii and Guetta). It jumped the shark years ago lineup-wise and the ratio of scum to decent folks like yourself far outweighs any benefits of attending. The fleecing of punters is absolutely outrageous and the non-music stuff on offer has mostly been sacrificed to cram in more customers.

    If you’re from NE England I’d go for Kendal Calling next year, by all accounts it’s a much more pleasant experience. Sounds like this year’s TITP has been nothing short of a disaster all round.

  15. Andrew
    July 13, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    I used to attend T in the Park when I was younger, but over the 5 or so years in which I attended the event, the crowd became increasingly neddy and rowdy.

    I now prefer to attend boutique festivals such as The Kelburn Garden Party, Audio Soup and Doune the Rabbit Hole. The crowd at these event still consume drugs, but they do so in a more mature and controlled manner, and are certainly far more pleasant to be around than the crowds at the larger festivals such as T in the Park.

    Sorry that you had such a bad experience. Maybe you should attend the Kelburn Garden Party next year and write a blog about that.

  16. Pete
    July 13, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    I have been to titp for the past 3 years and I have never experienced anything like this year in my life! I totally agree with the drugs situation, the amount of people foaming from their mouth and rolling about the ground completely incapable of speaking!! I chose to work there this year for a change and this was definetley one of the biggest mistakes of my life!!

    I do not know why your make up was taking off your friend etc as people were actually launching glass bottles at myself and other collegues whilst in the bus queue. Barriers were getting knocked down people were spitting at us, it was horrendous.

    There was no where near the amount of security needed for such a large event! Myself and another coleague actually found a 16 year old boy who had clearly over dosed on the same drug which rested in an hour wait for a paramedic!!! No one cared about him! After asking the police and security for help I was passed from person to person for help, it was that bad we had to phone 999 from our personal mobiles.

    I will never be back!!

  17. Nadia
    July 13, 2015 / 6:15 pm

    It’s a shame you had such a bad experience and it’s shocking the abuse your getting on Facebook for speaking your mind!

    Don’t be put off by going to festivals in the future they all aren’t that bad and just put this horrible experience behind you.

    It’s unfortunate that drugs are such a huge thing in Scotland and spoil it for the good ones. I go to festivals in the Netherlands which is classed as the drugs country in Europe and it’s no where near as bad as a night out in Glasgow!

    Just put the horrible experience behind you and plan for more fun and enjoyable concerts.

    P.s. Hope G is feeling better too

  18. juney
    July 13, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    I myself worked at TITP and it is highly streessful for us too. I can assure that all staff, people attending festival, cars and possessions are all searched to the best of their ability also using sniffer dogs, considering the volume of people attending 255,000, 77,000 campers and 150,000 staff, the security, stewards and police force do not have the resources to or time to charge every individual and believe me if you rsearch there are thousands caught with drugs, unauthorised alcohol, weapons, fireworks, flares ect. We work 16 hour shifts to try to ensure the health & safety of people attending the festival, but it is a no win situation all around and we are unable to please everyone. I also cannot beleive that people choose to subject their bodies and minds to this. It is impossible to catch everyone and possible that some will slip through the net as staff are only human too, as it would take weeks to do intensive searches and revellers would be upset and angry at time taken to do this. It is frustrating for everyone involved and this problem happens all around the world at festivals, concerts and nights out on a large scale and TITP is a small contained part of the problem. Happy to hear comments on possible well thought out suggestions and solutions to these problems.

  19. Sara
    July 13, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    From facebook this year it looks like this is by far the worst year of T. Which is no surprise to me because as it gets busier, more popular with mainstream acts it has attracted more bams. I’m 29 and stopped going 5/6 years ago. Me and my partner got free tickets via a friend last year and still didn’t go, that says everything. I don’t think drug abuse is the problem, change of venue this year caused most of the shambles. Its the calibre of people going and unfortunately (for us, fortunately for T $$$$) its so popular. Security was tight the times I’ve been and I’ve been to more drug heavy festivals and the result has mostly been calm, atmospheric. Respectful, just like-minded people there for music and a great time. A lot of folk going to T are scum themselves, so getting wasted and doing drugs only exacerbate this.
    Its such a shame but is not the only POPular festival to have this problem.

  20. Emma
    July 13, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    I wouldn’t normally comment on blog posts, however having read this post it has slightly rubbed me up the wrong way. I have attended TITP twice, and am by no means the kind of TITP-goer you seem to have described as exclusively meeting, but I did find parts of your post rather naive. I also have no wish to return again, so am not commenting with a huge passionate and blind love for the place. I also love attending festivals purely for the music and having a laugh with my friends, but have also witnessed some pretty horrid things at them – we’ve seen a guy getting stabbed, people not coping on drugs etc, so it’s not been all rosy for us either.
    Clearly, I have also experienced the walk and wait into T, and think it’s pretty obvious these things will happen – and, contrary to your opinions at the end, a lot of the reason for waiting around is for the sniffer dogs and drug squad to be spread around the entrance area. I can also attest that one of the members of my group one year when we attended was immediately booked by the police and sent home for having weed in his bag. Blaming TITP for your wait in is pretty ridiculous, attend any festival and you’ll find the same thing. T is a HUGE campsite with 80 000+ people camping there – did you really think you’d be ushered straight through to a nice perfect tent space??
    Drugs being taken is terrible, and you’re completely right that it is so sad that it’s the norm now – but I challenge you to go out in any major city and not find the exact same thing happening. Drugs are obviously a huge issue that can’t be explained away in one comment, but it seems important to emphasise that it is not a sole TITP problem, and they most certainly have measures in place to minimise it. In a practical but slightly uncomfortable way, the reason they might not have searched you so thoroughly is you assumedly don’t look like the typical drug user.
    Your friend – which it is such a shame she got ill at a festival, just a nightmare to happen – seemed to be the ultimate reason you left. That kind of jars with the premise of your post that TITP was just the worst weekend ever and you couldn’t wait to leave. I feel like TITP is getting a bad press here for something it literally had no say in. I really don’t want to demean your opinion that your friend was so ill because she got stressed, but speaking from a medic background I would be sceptical of that, it seemed she fell ill at just the wrong time – especially when you’re starting to enjoy it! The ground staff seemed to do the best they could to help, and their actions seemed pretty reasonable in both our eyes – ?
    I don’t want this comment to come off as flippant and ignoring your opinions, however (this is hard to write without sounding patronising) it sounds like camping and festivals in general maybe just aren’t your bag. In essence, what I took away from the post was that yes these horrible things can happen at festivals, but they happen everywhere at all times – again, not saying this is the way it should be, but really sadly it’s the way it is. It’s possible you need a thick skin to attend a festival at points, which I really hadn’t considered before. I’m going to attend a smaller festival at the end of this month and really can’t wait, potentially would suit you more too?
    Sorry for this rant, hope this comment finds you well and not too traumatised. X

  21. Lew
    July 13, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    Sorry to hear you had a bad time; and I hope your friend is perfectly ok now. Overall, perhaps you just aren’t suited to festivals. Its virtually impossible to have that many police and security present to avoid EVERY incident. Out of all the festivals I’ve attended, T in the Park is one I consider to be among the safest. Yes, there are lots and lots of people under the influence, but 90% of whom are probably ‘on’ alcohol, rather than drugs (although there will always be some sort of drug presence, anywhere). Someone dies every year: it just happens – last year 1 died at Leeds and two at Glastonbury, if I remember right. And as for traffic – its the first year at that particular site; delays are to be expected. I’m sure the organisers will take that into account in their planning over the next few years. I think you need to bring down your expectations – the real world isn’t as happy and safe as the bubbles people tend to build around them.

  22. Craig McGill
    July 13, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Hi Katie, was this your first festival? There’s nothing you’ve described that’s too out of the ordinary for most festivals (though the death was a tragedy).

    The bag searching is just a quick search because could you imagine how long the q would be if they did a thorough search of each bag?

  23. Kasey
    July 13, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a rubbish time. I mean, I’m nothing to do with the organisation of TITP but I have been most years since I was 17, and do know what a super experience it can be. I have never taken drugs in my life (and hardly drink for that matter) and still manage to have a great time. I have camped a couple of times, but after 7 years I now choose to go for a single day or two. We had problems leaving the car park this year, but it shouldn’t take away from the music itself. Being with my friends, dancing and listening to the best acts around was outstanding. I don’t go to the middle of the crowds, I prefer to be in a space to dance. I understand you’ve not had a great experience, but I think you’ve used every negative possible in this post. To say nearly “EVERYONE” was on drugs is a ridiculous statement. Try Glasto, or CreamFields? Doubt it’ll be very different, unfortunately there are idiots at every festival. X

  24. A.R
    July 13, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    I had a very similar experience in 2010 T in the Park. I had to leave 24 hours in as well, after having several panic attacks, getting crushed by a drug infused crowd and witnessing a body bag being taken away and drunk men stumbling into our tent. A lot of money for not much safety. The bands were fantastic, but from now on I’ve stuck to watching it at home on the TV! A lot cheaper and with a flushing toilet close at hand.

  25. Emma
    July 13, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    There should be tighter controls on drugs. It’s disgusting that people were forced to sleep rough, paying around £400 each to feel unsafe just seems horrible to me. You are right, they do exploit people in order to get money from them and genuinely ill people (like your friend) get shunned to the side because people assume they are just drunk or high. I can’t stand the thought of younger teenagers, and also any children of that age that I have in the future, being exploited in unsafe conditions. Security needs to be upped and drug searches need to be performed, as just because this is a festival people think they can get a free pass to use illegal drugs.

  26. Caroline
    July 13, 2015 / 7:57 pm

    Best way to enjoy Tbin the Park is not camping. T in the Park is well known to have drugs and I have been twice but would never dream of camping. It may be an idea that if you ever go to anything like this again to stay at a local hotel or another campsite that has good facilities. I believe that if you ignore what people are doing around you it makes for a much better experience. I remember seeing people dealing it and I was like oh my god but I was told by friends to ignore it and just pretend I didn’t see it. I had a fab time both times by following that advice and anyone I saw that I thought was out their face I walked away from. I don’t know what age you are but you may want to think about what age you are going to festivals at. I was 19 when I went to my first and went with my 7 years older sister who had been twice before. You may not have this privilege but there are some tips in this you may want to consider.

  27. July 14, 2015 / 6:33 am

    My God that’s quite a post. Haven’t been to t in the park for over 10 years but yes I always remember a nasty undercurrent. And marina and the diamonds were great on tv too!

  28. Ray
    July 14, 2015 / 11:13 am

    Very interesting article. I’ve been to T in the Park once and didn’t like it at all, due to several of the same reasons you didn’t enjoy yourself. A vast majority of people seem to be there to do as much harm to themselves as possible, as quickly as possible.

    However, the solution may not be as simple as increasing security etc. The organisation could definitely be better but it’s as much to do with the mindset of the festival-goers more than anything else.

    When I was a little younger I’d always go to English festivals instead (Leeds, Download etc) mainly because I wanted to feel like I’m somewhere further away. Those events also had massive queues and long walks to get places, but the atmosphere certainly felt different to T.

    Even more so, just two weeks ago I went to Roskilde festival in Denmark. It was an 8-day long event (I was only there for the main 3 days) but the organisation was superb. Very easy to get about, lots of toilets everywhere – but this wasn’t to do with security because it was more lenient than the UK.

    Each day I had a big backpack and could have taken anything in, and wasn’t checked properly once. And in general, compared to T in the Park, people were there to relax and have fun, and not just get totally smashed. The vibe is what made all the difference.

    Don’t let what happened put you off from going to an event again – perhaps go further afield next time, I would definitely recommend it!

  29. July 14, 2015 / 11:35 am

    Sorry to hear you had such a terrible time – I have to say it sounds very similar to lots of festival experiences I have had too – drugs are abundant and no one (really) tries to stop it. I hope the rest of your summer is much better! xxxx Sophie
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  30. July 14, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    It sounds like you had an awful time and I am so so sorry to hear that! As a young adult from Scotland, I am so embarrassed and ashamed to hear that you had such a horrible experience here. I’ve never been to titp myself, and frankly never ever want to go because I’ve heard al the stories and it definitely just isn’t for me. It breaks my heart though that this is the impression you’ve been left with of Scotland. I promise we’re not all like that.

    Titp has very much become a right of passage for the youth of Scotland but perhaps in the most negative way possible. It’s such a shame that Scotland’s biggest festival has become such a mess. I had no idea that the drug problem was so severe and that people end up in such a mess. It’s so upsetting because it could be such a wonderful event but most people I know avoid it like the plague.

    I hope the rest of your summer is lovely and please, come back to Scotland one day and see it for the beautiful country it really is! 🙂

    xox

  31. Jen
    July 15, 2015 / 9:52 am

    Hi Katie. I am very upset on your behalf about the treatment you received and the safety lapses at the festival. However, I am also not surprised. T in the Park has always been a dodgy festival. This stuff happens every year – in fact, I remember it being worse a few years ago… It’s always been a drug-fuelled event frequented by people I am generally happy to avoid (a few friends enjoy it, but each to their own).

    I do have to reassure you that other festivals aren’t like that. I attend Download and Sonisphere, and always have a great time. Of course there are always a few idiots, but in general everyone is well taken care of. I know that you’ll probably never head there because of your musical tastes, but there are other festivals like Rock Ness that are run much better than T.

    I hope that the experience doesn’t put you off trying out another festival. When it’s right, and you’re there with your friends, it is a great summer experience. Hope your friend is feeling better.

  32. Kevin
    July 15, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    Hi Katie

    You should consider the Wickerman festival.

    It’s the polar opposite of T in the Park in every way. Very well run and very chilled in comparison. And a completely different clientele. No people dying in toilets or people getting bottled in the campsite.

    And not too far away from you either.

    Obviously not as much on offer musically, but it’s getting bigger acts every year.

    Hopefully I’ll read your blog about it in the future.

    All the best

    Kevin x

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