THE FATHER of a Country Durham teenager who died at T in the Park is pleased that it won’t be going ahead next year.
Chris Bell’s teenage daughter Megan died at this summer’s festival along with Peter McCallum from Argyll.
Although unlinked, both were aged 17 and died from drug-related incidents, according to pathology reports.
Drugs have also been blamed for the death of 29-year-old father-of-three Jim Richardson, whose body was found in a field two days after the festival ended.
Bereaved father Mr Bell, from Seaham in County Durham reportedly welcomes the move to cancel next year’s T in the Park, but has criticised officials for prioritising birdlife and traffic congestion over crowd safety.
T in the Park organisers announced last week that next year’s festival will not be taking place due to ongoing complications regarding its site at Strathallan.
The Scottish Government insisted that DF Concerts and Tennent’s Lager would have to apply for full planning permission to host the event at Strathallan due to the presence of ospreys’ nests on the site and major traffic congestion associated with the festival.
DF Concerts described the restrictions as “simply not workable”, and have subsequently stated that T in the Park is to “take a break” in 2017.
A statement from the organisers said: “The last couple of years have had their challenges. Against our will, and despite a prolonged fight, we were forced to move from Balado, Kinross in 2015.
“This move was a mammoth task for the event and one that was compounded by a series of onerous site restrictions placed upon us as preparations for the event in 2015 took place.
“We tried our best to work with the pressures placed upon the site by bringing in an additional team and fixing the first year traffic issues, but ultimately we’re not in control of the overall site layout and the continued restrictions means that the negative impact on our fans and the limitations placed on their experience is too great.”
The news of T in the Park’s postponement has been welcomed by devastated father Chris Bell who made calls in July for the annual music festival to be cancelled until thorough investigations into audience safety took place.
The 44-year-old car transporter driver, who has three other young children, has also petitioned for a higher minimum age limit restriction to be placed on all British music festivals which would see anybody under the age of 21 refused entry.
But, Mr Bell has insists that the event organisers are postponing T in the Park for all the wrong reasons.
Speaking to the Evening Times today, Mr Bell said: “Just cancelling it won’t help unless they overhaul the whole security and medical side of the festival,
“Particularly the security, which clearly couldn’t cope.
“I think the organisers have jumped ship before they sank. They knew they would be encountering problems and questions so they’ve taken the easy way out in my eyes.”
DF Concerts have declined to respond to Mr Bell’s comments.