THIS summer it will be the 20th anniversary of T In The Park.
And to mark this special occasion, festival boss GEOFF ELLIS has been telling The Scottish Sun exactly what goes on at Scotland’s biggest music festival.
In Day Four of our series, he tells PETER COX and CHRIS SWEENEY what happens when things go wrong — and how he somehow always manages to find a solution!
The absolute worst moment hits me 15 minutes after the last band plays on Sunday night.
I feel a real dip after spending all year building up. Once the last firework goes off, it’s over and what a downer.
The bands can go back to the hotel and get the champagne out but I can’t. I’ve got 70,000 people on the campsite. I don’t want anyone getting their violin out for me but it’s sad.
I can’t even bear to hang around for the big clear-up, watching a year’s work being torn down.
We have a brilliant team who handle that, plus I have to get back to the office to start work on the following year’s festival.
Other traumatic times are when I’ve had to go on stage to make some announcement — and quite often it ends up with punters chucking stuff at me.
Like with CHUMBAWAMBA in ’98 who were delayed due to rioting in Spain. I went out and told everyone they’d been delayed.
Then half an hour later I was back out, saying Chumbawamba were on their way but it was going to be a shorter set.
I was hit with a chorus of boos and a few flying light sticks.
I was dreading it but I had to come out for a third time to announce that Chumbawamba weren’t coming after all.
And they all started cheering.
I was bamboozled. It seems everyone at the front who’d come to see them had given up and buggered off.
The people still there were waiting for the next band and didn’t give a s*** they weren’t coming.
It was even more nerve-shredding in 2009 with BLUR who were our headliners.
I got a panicky call out the blue from their tour manager saying GRAHAM COXON had been rushed to hospital with suspected food poisoning and was on a drip.
The first thing I was thinking was will he be OK? Secondly, how quick can the rest of the band get here? My mind was part sympathy, part panic and the rest self-preservation.
I had to find their manager who just looked at me and screamed: “We’re going to sue that bloody restaurant.”
I never did tell him it was me who’d recommended it to them.
I didn’t know what to do. I went to speak to SNOW PATROL who were due on just before Blur and told them the situation.
DAMON ALBARN made it clear that if Graham didn’t make it then Blur wouldn’t do the gig.
So I asked him to get the rest of the band ready in case Graham made it and I got a police escort on stand-by for them.
Snow Patrol were big enough to close the show but Blur were the band no one had seen for a long time. I told Snow Patrol I’d delay them going on as I’d spoken to the police and council about adding on 20 minutes at the end of the night.
Before them ELBOW went out and I told them to play a bit longer to help us stretch things out.
I was keeping all the options open. But as Elbow come off stage, their singer GUY GARVEY went into Snow Patrol’s dressing room.
He and GARY LIGHTBODY were planning to do a surprise Blur tribute if they didn’t make it.
Graham Coxon finally made it with the rest of the band. I got the Edinburgh cops to give them an escort to the Kincardine Bridge and then Tayside police picked them up. It had been a hard few hours for us all.
I got booed on stage and walloped by more light sticks when I went back on stage to give everyone the good news. You don’t drink when you run things like T in the Park but I had a good drink that night.
Cancellations are never easy.
Read the full article at thescottishsun.co.uk.