THE grounds of a 19th century castle in Perthshire will become home to Scotland’s biggest music festival from 2015, organisers have confirmed.
Strathallan Castle, near Gleneagles, will play host to T in the Park after 18 years at its current home at Balado, in Kinross-shire.
Promoters DF Concerts admitted that they had been forced to relocate from its long-time home to “safeguard the future of the festival”, following concerns about the safety of an oil pipeline running underneath the event’s current airfield home.
It emerged earlier this year that the 2014 festival could be the last at Balado after the Health and Safety Executive insisted DF find an alternative site for next year’s event.
However Geoff Ellis, the event’s figurehead, insisted the 1000-acre estate was “perfect” for the festival, which attracted crowds of up to 85,000 a day at Balado.
The event, which has been backed by brewing giants Tennent’s since its inception, will have the same capacity at Strathallan, but the site is understood to have enough space to allow for a substantial increase in capacity in future.
He said: “It will truly be one of the most beautiful festival sites in the UK.”
The new home for the festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next month, is said to be roughly one hour’s drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
It is the second time the festival has had to move. The first three festivals were held at Strathclyde Country Park, in Hamilton, but it had to be ruled out for future festivals as it was coming up for development.
Ellis, chief executive of DF, said: “We’ve had 18 tremendous years at Balado but now we’re moving onto pastures new – this time with a castle overlooking the site.
“We already loved Strathallan Castle and had been hoping to host an event there for many years.
“When it became clear we’d need to leave Balado to safeguard the future of the festival, we became very excited about the prospect of Strathallan becoming the new home for T in the Park. We thought it would be perfect and it is.
“Like Balado, it’s right in the heart of Scotland and is easy to locate. The landscape is stunning and it has a fantastic natural amphitheatre which will lend itself beautifully for the main stage. It will truly be one of the most beautiful festival sites in the UK.”
George Kyle, head of sponsorship at Tennent’s, said: “Balado has been a fantastic home for T in the Park, there are so many memories.
“All here at Tennant’s are sad to say goodbye but know the T in the Park audience will make sure that this last year at Balado will be the party to end all parties.”
Ellis added: “Obviously we’re sad to leave Kinross. We’ll miss the local area hugely, we’ve built up some fantastic relationships and a great deal of fond memories there. However, we’re very excited about this new chapter of T in the Park’s journey and we look forward to beginning strong partnerships with the local community of Strathallan.
“More news about 2015 will be revealed soon, but before then, we look forward to welcoming everyone this July for the very last party in Kinross. We’ll make sure Balado gets the spectacular send-off it deserves.”
Among the last acts to perform at Balado next month will be Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Pharrell Williams, Paul Weller, the Pixies and the Manic Street Preachers.