T in the Park has always seen its fair share of controversy – and indeed this year is no different – but one thing you can always rely on it for is the atmosphere. It’s dirty, loud and ugly at times, but there’s something about the crowds at T that make them pretty unmatchable.
Heading into the arena in the late afternoon heat you could already hear The Coral kicking off in the King Tut’s Tent, and while the early crowds may have been small they were more than adoring (it’s a Scottish crowd, after all). Later acts such as the extraordinary Rodrigo y Gabriela got a really warm reception, as did Glasgow favourites Frightened Rabbit who delivered an impressive set filled with old and new tracks alike.
It was Manchester who truly owned the day, however. In what proved to be one of the weekend’s biggest draws, The Courteeners took to the Main Stage in the early evening to deliver a run of some of their best-loved tracks such as ‘Bide Your Time’ and ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, and the atmosphere was insane to say the least. After dedicating one of their songs to the iconic Barrowland Ballroom, Liam Fray announced to the crowd that the band had just completed their new album at 7pm the night before. Unsurprisingly, everyone went berserk.
It wasn’t until the end of their set, however, when Fray told everyone to “enjoy The Stone Roses” that it really sunk in that the Madchester four-piece would be closing the night. A few hours later and the sun was setting, people were flocking to the stage in their thousands, and soon the sound of bagpipes filled the arena as Brown, Squire, Mani and Reni were piped onstage to deafening cheers. From then on out the night became a glorious mass sing-along filled with all their cherished classics (even ‘All For One’ got a great reception). Brown was constantly engaging with the crowd, waving and throwing his shakers to lucky audience members, while the other band members simply revelled in the riotous atmosphere whenever they could.
After an incredible close with ‘I Am the Ressurection’, Brown brought the Saltire flag onstage and raised it to the crowd – with his own personal touch of a lemon in the centre. It was a long day, and the walk back to the campsite seemed even longer, but after getting to experience acts like that it was far too hard to care.
Words by Samantha King