After two decades of unpredictable weather, the sun blazed down on the 20th T in the Park, turning the Balado site into a dustbowl worthy of a Leone western and creating long queues for the splashy log flume.
Hundreds flocked to the first-aid tents in search of sunscreen; a hedonistic few applied it in such a way that a red T throbbed on their body. Not many festivals can boast such dotty brand loyalty.
Headliners dutifully marked the 20th milestone with special touches. On Friday, a bagpiper joined Mumford and Sons for a mass singalong of Flower of Scotland. On Sunday, the Killers briefly covered Side by Travis, another unofficial national anthem. Even Liam Gallagher pushed the boat out, grudgingly playing a brace of Oasis songs to the committed cadre of fans who turned up at the second stage for Beady Eye on Saturday, while everyone else went to witness Rihanna's lavishly staged, if oddly static, performance.
There were images as memorable as the sounds. Complimentary 3D glasses enlivened Kraftwerk's greatest hits set, with Emil Schult's iconic artwork cleverly animated and beamed out over the crowd. Azealia Banks wore an eye-searing neon yellow bodysuit while spitting blue lines from her megahit 212. Even Ke$ha – a trash-pop valkyrie in a leather bodice wielding squirty cream – was briefly outshone by her backing dancers crunking in Residents-style eyeball masks.
On the emerging talent stages, there were thrilling sets by jangle-pop cherubs the Adelines and gonzo metal trio Fat Goth. The ascendant Chvrches marked their one-year anniversary of playing live with a dramatic and surprisingly energetic preview of their forthcoming debut album. For sheer daffiness, though, Dizzee Rascal ran away with the weekend, overcoming a minor power cut to romp through a giddy sequence of bass-heavy bangers before landing on the one that could have been custom-built for T in the Park: Bonkers.
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image: © Andrea Sartorati