Every year I go along to the T In The Park launch not expecting any real surprises, and four times out of ten I actually come away genuinely surprised.
This year’s surprise element came in the shape of arguably the biggest rapper in the word. Kasabian, Muse and Eminem had already been announced, then out of the bag, in the middle of the other 40 or so acts that were announced today, came Jay-Z!
My mate Peter Rooney, who’d been out of the country, missed the announcements. All the action was at the wonderful SWG3 complex, kicking off at 11.30 when T in the Park boss Geoff Ellis (below) started announcing the bands. Peter, bless his soul, turned-up at King Tut’s at 12 for the announcement… wrong time AND wrong venue (though in fairness the announcement has been in Tut’s at 12 for the past few years).
Peter’s opening remark to me when he finally arrived was “Hmm… Eminem. I’d rather have Jay-Z.“. What a delight to see his face light up when I told him the news.
Let’s face it, Jay-Z was a Glastonbury Pyramid Stage headliner last year, and he doesn’t even get top billing at T In The Park… it really shows the pulling-power of the festival these days. Couple that with the news that Stereophonics are also set to play, and you add another band to the mix that could quite easily headline a main stage at any festival in Europe.
For me though, it’s all about the rising bands, and of course there are plenty more still to be announced. Somewhere round the corner is likely to be a future headliner, and it’s a good bet that at least one of this year’s debut acts will end up headlining T In The Park in years to come.
With T Break I believe you have one of the longest running unsigned stages at any UK festival, and details on how to apply will be announced in the next few week. Meanwhile, you can register at www.tbreak.co.uk.
Last year, another avenue for unsigned acts, the BBC Introducing Stage, paid its first visit to Balado, and I’m delighted to say it’ll be back again for 2010. All the Introducing info at www.bbc.co.uk/introducing. You can upload tracks to be considered for the Introducing Stages at all the festivals, as well as the possibility of radio play on the BBC Introducing shows on national and local BBC stations.
2010 there will actually be THREE unsigned stages at T The The Park, as I can reveal that The Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage will be back at T, with the chance for up and coming acts to join the bill. As I write, Scottish band The Detours are actually No.1 in the Buzz Chart at www.redbullbedroomjam.com, and other acts are invited along to the site to submit videos. Bands playing this stage last year included Florence & The Machine, Twin Atlantic and Little Boots, so if that’s anything to go by, it’s an amazing chance to join a bill of very hot acts.
Early days yet in terms of the full T In The Park line-up, but it looks pretty impressive so far. Folk always moan that it’s not their thing, and they aren’t keen on the headliners, but the big bands will pull the numbers. The real joy of visiting T for me is to discover the smaller acts… perhaps bands you wouldn’t go to see play on tour, but worth a punt checking them out at a festival. If you don’t like it you can always move on to the next thing.
My tips from what’s been announced so far? Two Door Cinema Club, Black Mountain and The Temper Trap… and does it get any better than The Proclaimers on the Main Stage?
Here’s the full list of what’s been announced so far:
Faithless * Stereophonics * Paolo Nutini * Biffy Clyro
Florence & The Machine * Dizzee Rascal * Vampire Weekend
30 Seconds To Mars * Calvin Harris * David Guetta
Mumford & Sons * John Mayer * The View * Goldfrapp
Hot Chip * The Cribs * The Courteeners * Wolfmother
The Proclaimers * Plastikman * Skunk Anansie
Newton Faulkner * The Coral * Empire of The Sun * La Roux
Rise Against * Gossip * Ellie Goulding * The Temper Trap
The Stranglers * Broken Social Scene * Carl Cox
Dirty Projectors * Slam * Erol Alkan * Four Tet
Mayer Hawthorne & The County * Fake Blood
Two Door Cinema Club * Black Mountain
Tickets on sale 9am Friday 26th February.
More info at www.tinthepark.com