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Festival chaos for friends

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Festival chaos for friends

FESTIVALGOERS from Lockerbie were amongst the thousands of music fans caught in the chaos at T in the Park at the weekend.

Friends Ewan Hyslop, Mark Scott, Cheryl Brown, Katrina Carruthers, Michelle Bell, Lisa Burgess, Joanne Kirkpatrick, Pagaine Hislop and Leanne Campbell travelled to Strathallan Castle on Saturday and have described the car parking as a ‘disgrace’ as they tried to leave at about midnight.
The group had to wait five hours in the dark to be towed out of a field and finally arrived home almost eight hours after attempting to leave the Perthshire site.
Lisa Burgess has camped at the festival three times previously, but this was the first time she was there just for the day.
She said that she noticed the poor lighting and signage compared to previous years when the event was held at Balado, Kinross, while Ewan Hyslop said he was disappointed with the lack of walkways and security.
Lisa said: “We luckily knew exactly where we were going having taken a mental note on the way in, if we had not then it would have been a lot more difficult especially since it was then really muddy and slippy.
“Having had to pay £50 for the privilege of parking, it’s a total disgrace that we had to wait five hours to get towed out of the car park through no fault of our own due to the poor condition of the field and hill to the entrance.
“We were all generally very frustrated and slowly became more irritable and annoyed as time went on, but we managed to stay in good spirits.”
Responsible for getting the group home safely was designated driver Joanne Kirkpatrick.
She said: “Nobody came to the car giving any information.
“The tractors didn’t move for several hours, I can only presume due to congestion on the road.
“I have never been so glad to get off a field.”
And veteran T-goer Mark Scott said: “Never in seven years have I seen tractors having to pull cars out of the car park two at a time.”
However, sympathising with the task of re-locating a huge festival, Lisa said: “I understand that a new venue is always going to have a few teething problems and it can’t be easy to find a venue of that size, but overall there appears to have been a general lack of common sense especially in relation to the car park facilities and accessibility to and from the venue for the high volumes of traffic.”
A statement issued on behalf of the festival, which drew headline acts including Kasabian, Avicii and Stereophonics, apologised to those affected by the delays.
It read: “Due to this being our very first year at a brand new site, we have experienced some teething problems and once again we’d like to apologise to those that have been affected.
“Whilst it’s not unusual for it to take several hours to depart from most major events across the UK, we do acknowledge that our audience are used to the traffic moving very swiftly after 18 years of tweaking at Balado.
“We will review all of these points, take feedbackon board and will aim to significantly improve the experience going forward.”

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