REUNITED indie rockers The Libertines are to headline Scotland’s biggest music festival at its new home this summer.
Pete Doherty’s band, who reformed last summer, are the first act confirmed for T in the Park’s new-look home in Perthshire.
Organisers of the three-day festival, which is relocated to Balado in Kinross-shire to the Strathallan Estate, have described the outfit as “one of the most exciting and influential bands of the past two decades.”
The Libertines reformed for a huge open-air gig at London’s Hyde Park last summer but ended up playing two sell-out warm-up gigs at the Glasgow Barrowlands.
The band - who later signed a new record deal and unveiled plans for a brand new album - will be returning to the festival 13 years after their one previous appearance at the event.
Controversy has surrounded the relocation of the festival to the 1000-acre grounds of 19th century Strathallan Castle, with organisers forced to apply for full planning permission for the event due to concerns about its environmental impact.
The Libertines are the only act to be announced so far for this year’s festival, although a full launch is planned to be held next month, when tens of thousands of remaining tickets go on sale.
Festival Director Geoff Ellis said: “The Libertines are a truly iconic British band, revered as cult heroes by a generation of music fans and adored by the Scottish crowd.
“They chose Scotland as the destination for their live return on home soil last June and raised the roof of the Barrowlands with two exhilarating shows.
“We can’t wait to welcome them back in what is a historic year for T in the Park, as we take up residency at our beautiful new home, Strathallan Castle.
“It’s going to be a very special year for T in the Park and we can’t wait to welcome you all to Strathallan.”
George Kyle, head of sponsorship at Tennent’s Lager, the long-time backers of the event, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have been the T in T in the Park for 22 years and we are hugely excited to celebrate the first festival at our brand new home with the T in the Park audience this July.”
A formal application to stage this year’s T in the Park was submitted to Perth and Kinross Council earlier this month and is expected to take several months to decide on. The local authority was heavily involved in talks with promoters DF Concerts before the move was made public last summer.
The event was forced to relocate from its long-time home at Balado, where the event had been staged since 1997, over concerns from the Health and Safety executive about an oil pipeline running underneath the site.
At the time the application was submitted, Mr Ellis said: “We’re confident that it (application) successfully demonstrates how we plan to deliver a high-quality event at Strathallan, for one weekend every July, with minimal disruption and exceptional long-term and far-reaching benefits - including a rise in tourism, excellent opportunities for businesses, economic growth and future security for the Strathallan Estate.”
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