T In The Park 2011 - Friday - A Review In Pictures - Balado Park, Kinross
Scotland's T In The Park Festival takes place in Balado. The event has been running since 1994 and celebrated its 18th birthday in style with three days of music, headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Foo Fighters.
I've attended "T" on numerous occasions since its early beginnings and this was my fourth year shooting the event. Things are slightly different in 2011 compared to previous recent years as the site has had a bit of a revamp, with stages moved to different locations. I'm sure it's very beneficial in the general scheme of things but the new layout is slightly inconvenient for anyone photographing the bash.
In general photographers are allowed to shoot three songs from each stage's photo pit. Up until this year the main stage and NME stage had been in easy walking distance of each other so you could shoot the first song of a band's performance on one stage then leg it to cover the third song on the other stage if the acts you wanted to photograph clashed. Sadly this option is no longer available due to the vast distance between stages so photographers had to chose carefully which band they wanted to shoot!
Although the Saturday and Sunday of "T" start around noon Friday doesn't normally kick off until five-ish. Campers had been hanging out in the Festival's camping site since the previous day so they were well up for their first taste of live music, leading to Scottish band Kassidy taking to the NME stage like homecoming champions, which wasn't bad for the first band on the bill.
I occasionally manage to grab a decent chunk of one or two sets during my "T" experience but Friday's fest was an evening of fleeting visits, just taking in three songs (at the most!) from the acts on offer. That being said, I still had time to enjoy the music I caught, with girl band Parade making a decent impression over on the King Tut's stage as they chased after The Saturdays' crown, followed on the same stage by pop poppet Eliza Doolittle, who kindly played three of her best songs during my time in the pit and seemed ecstatic as she couldn't believe the reaction she was receiving from the crowd.
The Festival's audience never fail to make an impression with the acts that perform as they're usually greeted with a huge wall of sound from the assembled roaring Scottish punters, a crowd who were extremely vocal during exhilarating sets from Plan B and The View on the Main Stage and Pendulum playing on the NME stage, especially when the latter's lead singer took a trip into the audience early in the band's performance.
As well as being a rowdy crowd the festival's patrons can be a bit of a colourful bunch to boot, especially as Friday's "T" encourages festival goers to don fancy dress which always brings a smile to my face as the front row usually sports a few people making the effort, with Mario, a Thunderbird and Elmo all leaning on the barrier during the evening's proceedings.
My first night at 2011's "T" ended taking in a trio of tracks from Ireland's rockabilly queen Imelda May on the Red Bull Transmissions stage, with the singer sounding on great form as she delivered songs from her Mayhem album, leaving me eager to witness more decent acts the following day.