'Swine flu' fans to be ejected from T in the Park
THE annual pilgrimage of music fans to Balado got under way yesterday – with revellers warned that anyone displaying symptoms of swine flu could be turned away.
NHS Tayside issued a warning that festival-goers will be asked to leave the site and arrangements made for them to travel home if the medical team diagnoses the virus, as part of contingency plans in the wake of Glastonbury, where several cases were confirmed.
With about 85,000 people attending the festival each day – including 65,000 at the Balado campsite – the possibility of infection has had to be factored in to arrangements.
Teams will be patrolling the sprawling site at Balado, near Kinross, offering hand gel and to help ensure public areas are kept hygienic and to offer advice to anyone worried.
Dr Drew Walker, the public health director for NHS Tayside, said: "It's worth remembering not everyone who has flu-like symptoms will have influenza A (H1N1).
"As is the case every year, there is a medical team on-site at Balado. Anyone presenting to medical staff with flu-like symptoms will be assessed and treated as necessary."
He added: "Festival-goers are encouraged to practise good hygiene by washing their hands or using anti-bacterial hand gels regularly and covering their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing."
Queues had already formed by the time the gates to the campsite opened at noon yesterday, with 20,000 fans taking advantage of the chance to pre-book and arrive at the campsite a day early.
And to mark today's opening of the gates to the main arena, pilots from the Red Bull Matadors aerobatic team will stage a display high over the T in the Park site.
Festival director Geoff Ellis said: "With Fancy Dress Friday taking place on the ground and the Red Bull Matadors taking to the skies, we're looking forward to a fantastic festival opening."
Tayside Police have warned fans that a zero tolerance policy on drugs will again be in force at the festival site.
And this year, for the first time, an "eye in the sky" blimp, equipped with specialist night-vision CCTV cameras, will be deployed by the force.
A spokesman said: "Tayside Police will not tolerate illegal drug use. Drug amnesty bins will be placed at the entrance to the campsites, where people can dispose of any illegal substances without being excluded from the event or prosecuted. Anyone caught dealing or carrying drugs will be arrested."
Last year's festival was overshadowed by an attack on Mark Morrison, a 23-year-old bank worker. He was stabbed 11 times after confronting two men who had attacked his female friends.
Robert Kidd, 25, of Barrhead, and John Tiffoney, 25, from Glasgow, were each jailed for nine years at the High Court in Dunfermline for the assault.
THE FESTIVAL AT A GLANCE
THOUSANDS of partygoers are revving up for a rollcall of rock royalty at Balado this weekend.
Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand, pictured, are assured of an ecstatic reception when they take the main stage tonight, warming up for Tennesse country-rockers Kings of Leon.
Fresh from storming Glastonbury, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are headlining the Radio 1 NME stage.
Other highlights tonight include pop legend Edwyn Collins – who in May picked up an Ivor Novello Inspiration award – playing King Tut's Wah Wah Tent, while one of Scotland's most hotly tipped bands, Pearl and the Puppets, grace the T Break Stage.
Tomorrow will see the main stage hosting homegrown talent Paolo Nutini and Calvin Harris, along with the Killers, Razorlight, the Specials and James.
Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction and Manic Street Preachers are vying for the limelight with the Ting Tings, Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, and Glasvegas.
Clubbers will be packed into the Slam tent as 2 Many DJs hit the decks along with Felix Da Housecat and Mr Scruff, and live sets from Laurent Garnier and Green Velvet.
Blur and Snow Patrol are the headliners for Sunday, with Pendulum guaranteed to send the crowds crazy.
Punters will also be flocking to Lily Allen, Elbow and Bloc Party, while Eighties fans can wallow in the retro vibe from the Pet Shop Boys at King Tut's Wah Wah Tent,
Fans of Pete Doherty will be hoping he puts in a more convincing performance than at Glastonbury, while the Saturdays will be parading their own special brand of sugar-sweet pop.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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