10th July 2015 marked a landmark moment in the history of Scotland’s biggest music festival. This was the opening day of a glorious new chapter in the history of T in the Park, and the festival’s contribution to music, culture and, well, partying in Scotland.
All across the festival’s new home, Strathallan Castle, organisers had evidently explored the possibilities and adventures promised by T’s new location. Stages were located within easy walking distance of each other, with tunes and excitement bursting from every corner of the festival.
Here we, here we, here we fuckin’ go… As Friday evening kicks into gear, Rudimental steal the show. There’s a collective of 11 musicians on stage, including feature vocalists and future solo stars Will Heard and Anne Marie.
Kesi Dryden: Our progression’s been amazing in Scotland. The first year we played T was probably the loudest crowd we’ve ever played to. The sound was right in your face. The decibel meter went to 112. And as a band we only get to 108, so that tells you how loud the Scottish audience are.
Piers Agget: We always relished the idea of festival shows; we always really believed in live dance music. That was something true to our hearts. And that’s spiraled into a show that we’re really, really proud of.
Following Rudimental, there’s barely a dry eye in the house for Sam Smith, who recently recovered from a vocal haemorrhage. Plus more emotion over on the BBC Three/Radio 1 Stage as The War On Drugs bring their atmospheric psych-rock to the festival.
Later, Friday night sees big-hitters Kasabian headline T for the third time. Guitarist Serge Pizzorno shows off his allegiance to Scotland on his chest in a Radge t-shirt. Elsewhere, the TENT FULL sign is on as Fatboy Slim shuts down King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent with anthems as large as Praise You and Right Here, Right Now.
Opening the Main Stage on Saturday, T Break alumni The LaFontaines kick off the festival with a blinder of a set. Describing their appearance as a bucket list moment, the band unleash new material from their debut album Class.
Elsewhere, after a triumphant debut at T two years ago, Irish teenagers The Strypes return rocking the BBC Three/Radio 1 Stage with urgent rhythm-and-blues. In their accomplished hands, retro never sounded so future-proof. As the afternoon roars on, highlights include firm favourites Jungle, Queen of London Charli XCX and ethereal indie rock band Alt-J.
Later, BBC 3/Radio 1 Stage headliners, Twin Atlantic, praise their home crowd for allowing the band to grow throughout their 7 years at the festival, from performing on the T Break Stage to their epic headline set. Sam McTrusty tells the crowd: You guys raise the bar for us every single year so thank you guys, you’ve made this festival feel like a second home for us. It’s because of you we feel we belong.
Over on the Main Stage, T in the Park has the honour of hosting the first ever festival headline set by the reformed Libertines. Two weeks after their surprise appearance at Glastonbury, the band offer exclusive previews of songs from their hotly-anticipated third album, Anthems For Doomed Youth.
Sunday morning belongs to Susan Boyle, who rocks up for the second year running as a punter in a native American headdress. Jokes aside, Sunday afternoon is all about James Bay. After playing T in the Park’s Transmission Stage to 400 people back in 2014, James tells us: Next year, I’ll be back – Main Stage, headlining. No question, I’m gonna go all out and say it: T in the Park, I’ll see you then.
We believe you Bay! As the sun descends on Strathallan Castle, this year’s headline honour goes to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Noel pleases the crowd with Oasis classics including sing-a-long Champagne Supernova.
For many, Sunday is all about the Stereophonics who play T in the Park for the eighth time. Kelly Jones reflects on his best time playing the festival from back in the day: I think it was 1999. It was proper hammering down with rain, but it didn’t dampen anybody’s spirits. I remember looking out and they were just jumping up and down and it was amazing. And that was the time we realised we’re a festival band.