Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Downfall (and Saviour) of T in the Park

So, T in the Park hit Scotland for another year and this time round in a new home.

Strathallan Castle played host to T and from the TV pictures, looked like it was the right choice.

The Point!

But the purpose of this post is not to discuss how pretty a Scottish music festival venue is. The point is, um, the point of a music festival.

The reason for (what is in all honesty a rant) this post is the degradation of music at arguably Britain's second biggest music event.

Avicii headlining Saturday night on the main stage symbolised a nadir for T. Here was a guy, basically playing a pre-programmed setlist all the while fiddling with some knobs (what exactly, who knows?).

Sure, the guy may have created those songs himself using a bunch of software but the point of a music festival is to experience something special; and performed live by the artist as an experience for the crowd.

Short changed

And sure, you might say, well the crowd looked like they had a special experience (no doubt aided by a shit load of drugs). But the fact is that they could have had the exact same experience, if the actual artist stayed backstage playing Angry Birds. To me, in my opinion anyway, that is short changing the crowd. And the blame isn't just on Avicii, it's on Geoff Ellis too.

Don't get me wrong, I know festivals like T are about more than just the music now but the main stage should be sacred. It should be regarded as the pinnacle for bands or artists, who've earned the right to get there.

Earning the right

Take Florence on Friday night. She has plugged away over the past few years, album to album, ever increasing venue sizes and all with a genuinely inspired voice. Then there was Noel on Sunday night delivering his people uniting set list.

For me, there's no comparison. A trumped up disco versus songs that inspire and bring people together for three and a half minutes...I choose the latter every time.

It's not about dance music vs indie music. It's about the degradation of artistry and even emotion. Our festivals should represent connections. When folks happily throw arms around strangers during Don't Look Back in Anger. Not pogoing on the spot to a rent-a-tune remix.

Get it sorted

On another note, the tales I've heard of people trying to get home on the Sunday night have been grim. Three hours on a bus before the bus actually moved from the pick up point. Get it sorted, Geoff.

What're your thoughts? Am I just too old now? Does a guy dressed like this really represent the best of modern music?

^^ Douchebag ^^
In the mean time, check out my 'Best of T 2015' playlist.

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