Dad of girl who died at music festival pleased it is ‘unlikely to return’ in 2018

Megan Bell, who died at T in the Park in 2016.
Megan Bell, who died at T in the Park in 2016.
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The dad of a teenager who died at a music festival has said he is “over the moon” after it was announced that the event is unlikely to return next year.

Organiser of the T in the Park event Geoff Ellis said no decision has been taken on the long-term future of the festival and that they are focusing on their other events such as TRNSMT.

Megan Bell's dad Chris.

Megan Bell's dad Chris.

The three-day non-camping festival, held in Glasgow last weekend, was created after it was announced T In The Park was to “take a break” this year as organisers look to resolve issues around its recent move to a new site at the Strathallan Castle estate in Perthshire.

Megan Bell, 17, a former St Anthony’s pupil from Seaham, died at T in the Park last year.

An inquest into her death later heard she had a “highly concentrated” amount of ecstasy in her system.

Her loving dad Chris, 45, told the Echo that he is pleased that T in the Park will not return for now, but added that if security and organisation was improved, he would not be against it coming back.

Festivalgoers watch the main stage at T in the Park at Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, last year.

Festivalgoers watch the main stage at T in the Park at Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, last year.

“I think the organisers must have realised that there things happening that should not have been at the festival, so I’m over the moon it has been stopped,” he said.

“If it is going to save another life, then that’s the right thing to do.

“Don’t get me wrong, if they can get their act together then it would be fine, but the way it was being run, from speaking to people after Megan died, it was diabolical.

“People told me it was just a melee at times, with gangs of youths running about.

“You’re supposed to go to a festival to enjoy yourself, not to witness things like that.”

Organisers DF Concerts & Events said more than 120,000 people attended TRNSMT, which featured headline performances from Radiohead, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro.

Festival chiefs have already announced TRNSMT will return next year, with tickets going on sale on July 14, but no decisions have yet been taken about the older festival.

Mr Ellis told BBC Radio Scotland’s Kaye Adams programme: “We want to come back with a camping event but it’s not looking likely for 2018, I think that’s fair to say, and as to what format it will take in the future, we’ve not decided upon that yet.”

The first version of T in the Park was held at Strathclyde Park in North Lanarkshire in 1994, moving to Balado in Perth and Kinross in 1997.

It moved to the Strathallan Castle estate in 2015 after it was forced to move from Balado, but the move was hit by a battle for planning permission and major transport congestion.

Chris added that he wants to see stricter controls on who can attend festivals in future, in a bid to ensure safety.

“I certainly think there should be an age limit on who can go these festivals,” he said.

“Something like that would make it easier to police.”