So I’ve done it. I am no longer a festival virgin! Yesterday, I met Graeme at 9.30 in the morning and headed off to Kinross for the final day of T in the Park 2009. I had been warned of the nedish nature of this event and I was also unconvinced by the line up for the festival, but a free ticket is a free ticket and one should never turn their nose up at such offers.
So…….was it worth the trip? Well, if I’m honest I would say that, overall, I had a really enjoyable day. My feet are killing me today and I could have done with a day off to recover from all that tennant’s lager which, as Graeme so aplty put, “comes out faster than it goes in”. But all in all it was a good day in the middle of Fife surrounded by thousands and thousands of other music fans. The scale of the event is actually quite incredible but is possibly one of the problems I had with the day. I only saw 2 full sets by bands because moving about was complicated and took ages to get from one place to another. No stage was so good that I didn’t feel the need to move, and as such I fear it may have dampened my enjoyment overall. Also, I do not understand the logic behind putting unsigned bands on at 10pm when the headliners are on stage. Personally, if we were offered such a late slot I’d say no. Why would I want to play to an empty tent, even if it is Scotland’s biggest festival. So you see, there were issues. The day was not without its problems. However, what I did see musically, was for the most part excellent. Highlights of the day were without doubt TV On The Radio’s brilliant set in the King Tuts tent and Elbow’s amazing performance on the mainstage. The Twilight Sad and Findo Gask both produced fine sets over at the BBC Introducing stage and what I saw of both barnowl and Paper Planes over at the T Break stage was also excellent. Passion Pit (like most acts) suffered slightly from the vocals being too low in the mix, but their set was full of energy and definitely encouraged me to check them out in a little more detail, which is now on the to do list. The Seal Cub Clubbing Club’s music failed to live up to their excellent name, which was a slight disappointment, but things improved with the short part of the Pet Shop Boys set which we caught which sounded and looked pretty impressive. Snow Patrol sucked balls (sorry, they did) before I caught the first 3 Mogwai songs – cannot complain – they started with Glasgow Mega Snake and Friend of the Night – take that Fife!! Genius. And finally, Blur turned up and ran through 4 tracks of dated mediocracy (in my opinion) before I had to scoot off and jump on a bus. All in all it was a pretty good day. The sun shone – eventually. And the music on offer was to a pretty high standard. Disappointed to miss Lily Allen’s set. And it would have been better if the beer was cheaper. But I really can’t complain about the overall experience. Was it a nedfest? A little, but I don’t really think that had any impact whatsoever on the day or the experience. It’s a bit more about what you make of the day, and I feel I made the most of it and took in as much as I could. That said, I wouldn’t pay to go back nor would I want to camp at it. But if a free ticket is on the go again next year then I’ll definitely not say no.