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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Fans slam T in the Park 'farce'
Mud at T in the Park
Mud caused severe problems at the T in the Park site
Organisers of T in the Park have been criticised by fans who were refused entry because of heavy rain.

Water-logged car parks were closed on Friday evening over fears vehicles would become bogged down in the mud.

Thousands of people were turned away after queuing hours to reach the music festival at Balado near Kinross.

Campers who had to find alternative accommodation branded arrangements a "farce". Organisers said initial weather problems were "unavoidable".

Fans attempting to get to the site on Friday were stuck in traffic for hours as problems with the car parks led to tailbacks up to 12 miles long.

Communication 'breakdown'

Organisers eventually closed all the car parks at 2230 BST

Philippa Milne, from Aberdeen, finally arrived at the entrance at 0130 BST on Saturday after a nine-hour journey, only to find she was turned away because the car parks had been closed hours earlier.

Stewards lining the route did not inform the 22-year-old and her friends about the closure until they got within 200m of the entrance.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "If they'd just said a few miles back along the road that the car parks were shut, it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was the fact they left it so late. It was just a big communication breakdown."

It was a particularly challenging day on Friday when, despite incredible efforts, the weather did cause considerable problems for us.
Chief Superintendent
Matt Hamilton

Ms Milne called on organisers to reimburse her and her friends for the extra costs they had incurred as a result of the car park closure.

They claimed to have spent about a 100 on accommodation and shuttle buses to the venue, on top of the 150 they had already paid for weekend camping passes.

She said: "We were pretty cross because we spent so long in the car and then obviously we spent a lot more money than we expected to. It was all a bit of a farce, really.

"I want to write a cross letter, but I don't think a cross letter will do anything about it because so many other people were in the same boat.

"I would go back to T in the Park, but I wouldn't buy a camping ticket ever again."

Public safety

Ch Supt Matt Hamilton, who was in charge of policing the event, insisted efforts had been made to keep disruption to a minimum.

He said: "It was a particularly challenging day on Friday when, despite incredible efforts, the weather did cause considerable problems for us.

"Every effort was made by Tayside Police and the organisers to get festival fans into the car parks as safely and securely as possible.

Tractor at T in the Park
Conditions forced organisers to close some car parks

"We had 1,600 tonnes of road metal deposited, around 300 metres of metal trackway laid, and eight tractors provided by local farmers to ensure that the car parks were serviceable.

"This did cause lengthy delays in the area but was necessary to ensure public safety."

Colin Rodger, T in the Park's event manager, said: "Friday was unavoidably a difficult start to T in the Park but it really is testament to the hard work of the event team, emergency services, security and the local council that we were able to get the festival back on track for what turned out to be an amazing weekend.

"This is in no way least down to the co-operation and attitude of the fans who really pulled through with a Dunkirk spirit and made Saturday and Sunday a resounding success."

A total of 66 people were arrested at T in the Park, four less than last year. Of those, 30 were taken into custody.

By Sunday evening 470 people had visited the hospital tent and 32 were transferred to NHS hospitals for further assessment.

A limited number of tickets for T in the Park 2008 will go on sale on Tuesday at 0900 BST.

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