The father of a teenager who died at music festival has spoken of his upset that it prioritised traffic and birds over the safety of its audience after it announced it was “taking a break.”
T in the Park has come under fire for being crime-ridden and poorly managed, with Seaham 17-year-old Megan Bell one of three people to die after attending the event in Scotland last July.
Organisers DF Concerts and partner Tennent’s Lager have announced that after 23 years, the festival will not take place next year.
It comes after the Scottish Government told the team it would have to apply for full planning permission due to ospreys’ nests on the site and traffic issues because of its location.
But Chris Bell, dad of former St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy pupil Megan, believes it should put its efforts into ensuring it is better run and safer for young people to attend.
He has launched a petition calling for music festivals to raise the age level to 21, unless they are accompanied by an adult.
The real reason should be that kids are dying, and they’re taking about birds and traffic.Chris Bell
The 44-year-old car transporter driver - who is also dad to Josh, 12, and sisters Maddy, 10, and Jenny, eight - said: “I don’t think they seem to taking a break for the reasons they should be.
“The real reason should be that kids are dying, and they’re talking about birds and traffic.
“They want to be more concerned about making it a safe place.
“Looking at the festival site, it was a shambles.
“I’ve said from day one I don’t want them to stop, I just want them to make it a safe place for people.”
The statement from the organisers said: “The last couple of years have had their challenges. Against our will, and despite a prolonged fight, we were forced to move from Balado, Kinross in 2015.
“This move was a mammoth task for the event and one that was compounded by a series of onerous site restrictions placed upon us as preparations for the event in 2015 took place.
“We tried our best to work with the pressures placed upon the site by bringing in an additional team and fixing the first year traffic issues, but ultimately we’re not in control of the overall site layout and the continued restrictions means that the negative impact on our fans and the limitations placed on their experience is too great.”
The opening hearing of Megan’s inquest heard she had died from the affects of an illegal Class A drug.
The next review will be held in January.