Keith Smith: Muddy waters run deep at T in the Park

IT’S an experience that’ll last long in the memory - the year T in the Park played host to Muddy Waters.

Shame, then, that it wasn’t the legendary Chicago blues musician, just acres of soupy sludge.

After spending three days up there, I’m peeved to still be finding dried mud in the most unusual places, despite my weekly bath. But what’s annoying me most are some of the complaints about the conditions, especially by those who weren’t there.

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I’ve heard a few people slating organisers, claiming that they weren’t interested, because “they already had the ticket money.”

It might have been a mudbath, but that doesn’t mean festival bosses weren’t well-prepared or didn’t care.

For all the griping, the simple fact of the matter is that the T team deserve praise for ensuring the event went ahead at all, given the adverse weather. Elsewhere in the UK that weekend, Bloc and MFEST were cancelled, while last month the Isle of Wight Festival descended into chaos.

Even Kylie and Jason, due to be reunited at a concert in Hyde Park, weren’t immune. The gig, featuring a troupe of other Pete Waterman acts like Sonia, Bananarama and Rick Astley, failed to survive the rain. So it’s not all bad news, I suppose.

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What really stood out at Balado was the spirit of the fans, who were determined to make the best of it.

I was able to retreat to the (relative) sanity of the media tent for a cup of coffee and a seat, so I’ve got nothing but admiration for those who had no choice but to spend their weekend slogging it out in the main arena and campsite.

From the T-Break Tent to the Main Stage, the atmosphere was brilliant. Everywhere I went, people were having fun, even those who hadn’t been able to keep their footing. Chatting to one lad, covered from head to toe in mud, I suggested his mother wouldn’t be best pleased. He just shrugged. “Mum won’t mind, she’s used to it. She washes my football kit every week.”

I’m not sure the bus driver would have been so happy to see him though.

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