David Guetta was at his best to bring T in the Park to a climax for another year

T in the Park 2013 review

published: Fri 19th Jul 2013

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Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July 2013
Balado, Kinross, Perth & Kinross, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£205 full weekend
daily capacity: 92500
last updated: Tue 30th Sep 2014

Where Saturday cooled down, Sunday heated right back up with temperatures back at 25 degrees and the site looking as dusty as an old Western movie. Walking past the Box Office, the queue was at least half an hour for ticket collection and it was clear that the televised highlights of T in the Park had been enough to convince most that the great conditions were worth a last minute ticket purchase. Heading back into the arena it was clear that Sunday was going to be the busiest day of all – people strewn far and wide lying in the sun, or dancing on their way down to the main stage to see Ocean Colour Scene. With the size of the site it can be difficult to judge the length of time it takes to get settled at an act – between (surprisingly pleasant) toilet stops, the trips to the bar and obligatory token purchasing before finding a space to squeeze into. Once all this was all done however, it was time to kick off the shoes, ensure the factor 30 was on and enjoy the show. The 90s band played legendary The Riverboat Song ending with crowd sing-a-long The Day We Caught The Train. 

Saturday had a line-up which proved surprising; expected popular acts didn’t always live up to the hype and unexpected artists were amazing. Sunday turned out to be the day of clashes. Ending a whole hour earlier meant that the line-up felt squashed and no matter how much running around was tried there were always going to be acts missed. In the battle between Bastille and Rita Ora the latter won out on the main stage, where she gave a performance worthy of Saturday’s headliner spot, not 3rd on the bill on the last day. Kicking things off in a denim outfit with bra top she looked every inch the pop star, dancing along to new track Radioactive before moving into Love And War and Hot Right Now. The Scottish crowd seemed enchanted by the singer-songwriter, as did she by the audience exclaiming she was keen to try Buckfast to get into the spirit of things. Heading to the front of the crowds as she danced to a mix of Keep On Dancing and She Wants To Move and made her 45 minute set seem to fly by in mere minutes before ending on How We Do (“party and bullshit” being rather apt lyrics for the T weekend) and R.I.P. Announcing that she was about to join the crowd as her set ended it was clear that she enjoyed herself as much as we did. 

Heading over to the King Tut’s tent for Disclosure the crowd was once again rewarded with a wall of searing heat, mixed with dust in the air for good measure. Yet even that couldn’t keep the throngs of people down, as they danced along to Psy’s Gangnam Style before the house duo even hit the stage. When they did greet the crowd the tent erupted as You and Me blasted out. The whole of their set stayed in much the same vein, and pleasingly for those who missed AlunaGeorge earlier in the bill they were able to catch her as she joined Disclosureon set for chart-topper White Noise before ending their storming set with Sam Smith and Latch. The relative newcomers had a great crowd and proved an act to watch in the coming years. 

After an energetic and hot afternoon, refreshments were needed and T didn’t disappoint with Healthy T coming back strong. With at least 20 different food and drink vendors, all sporting local and nutritional food, it was hardly surprising that the stalls selling cheeseburgers and chips were abandoned in favour of Puddledub’s now famous Buffalo Burgers or some Indian street cuisine. Sitting in Healthy T provided a welcome respite from the busying crowds but before long it was time to head back into the main arena where another clash came in the form of Stereophonics and Labrinth. Choosing the former initially seemed like the easy choice – tracks such as Local Boy In The Photograph and A Thousand Trees should have ignited the crowd but if the energy was there at the front of the arena, it was quickly lost farther back. While the Welsh band didn’t play badly, they failed to hold attention for long, even with such well known tunes such as Have a Nice Day and Mr Writer – the former actually playing host to a large fight surging through the crowd, pulling innocent people into it before finally getting broken up. 

Begrudgingly leaving the main stage and heading to Labrinth proved the best choice in the end, arriving just in time for some of his biggest hits including Pass Out and aptly titled Let The Sun Shine before giving us the second rendition of the weekend of Beneath Your Beautiful, the crowd not minding for one bit the repeat performance. Yet as always with this weekend, Labrinth held onto the biggest crowd pleaser until the very last minute – starting with a We Will Rock You-esque beat, audience hands clapping in time, he exploded into Earthquake as the crowd seemed intent on creating their own natural disaster through their jumping.

And before we knew it we were tramping back down to the Radio 1 stage, just in time to see David Guetta take his place behind the decks. The Killers vs David Guetta had been one of the biggest clashes to decide on of the weekend – the same being said for many people spoken to over the 3 days – yet Guetta proved just why he thought the Radio 1 stage was the area to be. He played a more experimental set than previously seen – starting with favourite Work Hard Play Hard before going into Song 2 but his out from that song did sound a little messy. Yet it wasn't long before he was back on exceptional form –apologising for playing a song with "fuck" in it on a televised performance, before exclaiming "fuck that" and exploding right back into his biggest hits such as Love Don’t Let Me Go and Titanium. With a spectacular pyrotechnics show and banter with the audience Guetta was at his best as he played out with track Without You, a good twenty minutes after he was meant to end, and apparently after he had been instructed to stop playing, love hearts made by hands in the audience proved Guetta has a special place in the T audience's hearts.

All too soon T in the Park's ending fireworks were blasting over the arena – mirroring fireworks behind both the main stage and the Radio 1 stage ensuring everyone got the best possible view. The pyrotechnic designers did themselves – and Geoff Ellis – proud as T’s and 20’s exploded above the crowds. And with the lone piper playing Flower of Scotland another T in the Park was done. The 20th birthday bash went surprisingly well – what will T do for its real coming of age: 21? Let’s just hope it brings the sun again.


review by: Clare Sinclair

photos by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams

Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July 2013
Balado, Kinross, Perth & Kinross, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£205 full weekend
daily capacity: 92500
last updated: Tue 30th Sep 2014


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