T in the Park: Balado comes to the boil

Temperatures are down on yesterday's record highs. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Temperatures are down on yesterday's record highs. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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SOARING temperatures meant the number of festival-goers in need of first aid at T in the Park almost doubled on those of last year, with sunburn the most common complaint.

More than 650 people had made their way to the event’s medical tent by yesterday afternoon – nearly twice the number in 2012, when conditions were muddy and wet.

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The Balado site basked in sunshine from Thursday until yesterday lunchtime, prompting organisers to remind festival-goers to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

However, Neil Gillies, head of onsite medical services, said the warnings were ignored by many.

He said: “We’ve had 663 people present to the medical tent and the vast majority of those could have been prevented by people using sunscreen, drinking water and remembering their own medicines.

“We would ask fans to look after themselves by refilling their water bottles at the free taps throughout the site, using sunscreen throughout the day and to bring their hay fever medication and inhalers with them.”

Conditions at the three-day festival were in stark contrast to 2012, when torrential rain reduced the site to a quagmire. By the same point in the weekend last year just 271 people had presented themselves to the medical tent, mainly as a result of the wet and cold.

Geoff Ellis, head of the festival, said: “I think because we see the sun so rarely, there can be a bit of a ‘tops off’ mentality when it comes out.

“The sun doesn’t have to be that hot to burn you; we’re just not used to it. Using suncream and staying hydrated is always the best advice.”

Respite came when temperatures cooled for the latter half of yesterday’s show, which included performances by Rihanna, Beady Eye and Deacon Blue. However, forecasters predicted a return of hot, sunny weather today.

Festival organisers and police reminded fans yesterday that pyrotechnic flares were banned from the site after five people were arrested and ejected on being found in possession of them.

Police Scotland head of event planning, Superintendent Rick Dunkerley said: “Flares are extremely dangerous and won’t be tolerated at this event.”

Meanwhile, festival-goers were praised for heeding warnings about potentially lethal fake ecstasy pills after they reported that none had been discovered on the site.

Supt Dunkerley added: “There have been 36 arrests in total made since the camp site opened on Thursday, mainly for petty crimes and minor drugs offences. We’re delighted that so many fans have taken our advice and welfare messages on board in advance and we hope this continues.”

There have been fears that the pills, which have been linked to seven deaths on the west coast of Scotland in the past two months, could be smuggled into the festival, prompting Police Scotland to issue warnings about the threat they posed.

In addition, T in the Park staff put up high-profile posters across the site showing the suspect drugs and cautioning people against taking them.

Ellis said: “The police got that warning out there – and for good reason – and I think the media has done a great job of communicating it. We’ve got the police warning signs right across the site.”