ORGANISERS of Scotland’s biggest music festival have brought in two former police officers to act as troubleshooters at this year’s event.
Colin Brown and Ian Martin, who have both worked at T in the Park in previous years, will be in charge of security and traffic management when it returns this summer.
They have been hired three months after promoters DF Concerts apologised for the handling of the 2015 event, the first to be staged at the controversial new site at the Strathallan, in Perthshire. It was relocated from Balado, in Kinross-shire, following long-standing concerns about the safety of an underground pipeline.
The festival, which is said to be worth £15 million to the economy, has also brought in event management company, APL from over the border to “solve issues” which marred the first year at Strathallan.
There were hundreds of complaints over traffic chaos, the shuttle bus services, levels of congestion inside the arena and poor campsite security.
Lengthy queues were reported getting to and from the new festival site, as well as entering the main arena, while there were complaints that festival-goers were left waiting in the dark for hours to get picked up.
Mr Brown, the festival’s new security manager, was recently in charge of emergency event and resilience planning for the north of Scotland and previously led the policing operation at T in the Park.
Mr Martin, who was involved in the management of traffic at T in the Park’s Balado site, is said to have worked on the roads network in Perth & Kinross for more than 20 years.
The track record of Northumberland-based APL includes working on major events like Glastonbury, the BBC’s Proms in the Park, Bestival and Creamfields, as well as huge concerts by U2, The Rolling Stones and Eminem.
Colin Rodger, event manager of T in the Park, said: “We’ve had a full de-brief on the 2015 festival with all relevant agencies including Police Scotland, Traffic Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council as well as festival-goers and local residents.
“We’ve listened to every comment and thank everyone for their invaluable input. We’re now focused on delivering the 2016 festival and we know where we need to improve. By restructuring the management of key areas, such as the site and security, we will solve issues from last year’s event.
“Colin and Ian are very well-respected and highly experienced professionals and both have worked on T in the Park in their former Police Scotland roles, so they understand the festival.
“APL Events are leaders in their field and have run some of the most popular festivals in the UK.
“We’re constantly moving forward and putting measures in place to make 2016 memorable for all the right reasons.”