TICKET sales for next month’s T in the Park have been hit by the economic downturn.
Scotland’s biggest music festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a star studded line up at Balado from 12 to 14 July.
But, with five weeks to go, the festival has still to be a sell out.
Geoff Ellis, chief executive of festival organisers DF Concerts, told a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s licensing committee: “It has been more challenging to sell tickets this year because of the economy, but we are confident we will sell out.
“We have been spending quite a bit on promotion.”
Last year’s festival was hit by the worst weather in the event’s history with days of torrential rain.
But Mr Ellis insisted: “Despite the weather last year, we are on course for selling out again.”
He also told councillors that the T in the Park organisers were anxious to continue staging the massive festival at Balado, home to T in the Park since 1997. DF Concerts have been given a two-year extension to its public entertainment licence by Perth and Kinross Council, ensuring the three-day event will continue to be staged in Kinross-shire until at least 2015.
Mr Ellis revealed that concert organisers had put a number of new measures in place to ensure T in the Park remains attractive to revellers. They include the permanent addition of Sunset Strip - an entertainment area for campers and day ticket holders.
The organisers are also making contingency plans to open the campsite early to avoid the traffic congestion that has blighted the festival in previous years.
Mr Ellis said: “Sunset Strip will operate as the campsite entertainment and the changes we made last year will remain.
“If we have a build-up of queues, we can open up the campsite early. This isn’t a permanent plan, but just a contingency.”
He also told councillors that a lot of hard work had gone into promoting the 20th anniversary of T in the Park, as well as repairing significant damage caused by last year’s downpours.
A spokeswoman for DF Concerts said today that the concert organisers did not disclose ticket sales. And she continued: “We never reveal any of our ticket information. But the point we would make is that we are looking to sell out in the next few weeks, as we did last year.
“We weren’t sold out at this time last year and it is a pattern that has hit a lot of festivals.”
Around 85,000 music fans are expected to flock to Balado for this year’s festival. The line up includes Rihanna, the View, Deacon Blue, Travis, Twin Atlantic, Emeli Sande and the Fratellis
Tickets are priced at £75 for the Friday and £82.50 for the Saturday and Sunday. Weekend tickets without camping are priced at £184 and £194 when camping is included.
Charity calls for ban on alcohol advertising at music festivals
A CHARITY has called for a ban on alcohol advertising at music and sports events to protect children and young people from “excessive” exposure.
Such a ban could affect major events such as T in the Park at Balado in Kinross, sponsored by Tennent’s – which will mark its 20th anniversary this year – while most other UK festivals count beer and spirit producers among their sponsors.
Alcohol Concern claims the regulatory system is failing young people, citing high levels of alcohol brand recognition and “numerous” examples of inappropriate advertising.
It is recommending new rules that restrict adverts to referring only to the characteristics of the product, such as strength, origin, composition and means of production, and a ban on alcohol advertising in trailers for films shown in cinemas with less than an 18 certificate.