One week ago today, I was driving a people carrier in convoy back to Glasgow – filled with muddy wellies, dirty clothes and a few hungover colleagues. In my head, all I could think was “get me to bed RIGHT NOW”. Having survived on approximately 4 hours sleep per night for the past few evenings (some of that time was by choice), nothing seemed more appealing to me than the feel of my crisp clean bedsheets and orthopaedic pillow (a foot rub would have also gone down a storm, but that was maybe a bit too much for someone given the state of my tootsies).
T in the Park weekend (Or as some of our friends and family think “that weekend where you all go away for a jolly”) is the time of year when the whole of Material come together to finish off the job which was started 364 days prior by a small bunch of our colleagues.
For some of the guys in the office, they live and breathe T in the Park all year round. From the moment the last piece of equipment is taken off site and they’re ordering it for next year, to the point where next years’ tickets are on sale – these guys are on it. Then there are the rest of us…we rock up on site a couple of days before, have a sing song in the car on the way to site, then get the game faces on. No matter what our roles are back in the office, these are placed to the side when we get to Strathallan – it’s all about pulling together and getting the job done. It’s team time.
It’s also the time when we get to see the extended team of people who work on the event that you only have the odd email with or see what they are up to throughout the year via Facebook. Even though you probably haven’t seen them since the previous year, you always greet each other with a massive smile and a hug (and if you are me, a bit of dodgy banter). Everyone is there to do the same thing – work hard and try to have a good time while you do it.
Looking around the site once we get there is one of my favourite parts. The whole site is empty bar the stages, bars and food outlets. It’s great to see all of the work that the production and design teams within Material have been working on. This year especially, with the introduction of the popular ‘Tennent’s Arms’. This was an amazing addition to the site. A two tiered bar area, with a tattoo parlour (don’t worry – it wasn’t real), a bar serving Tennent’s cocktails such as Pina Colagers, and Sub Club DJ’s playing each day. We had a lovely wander around the bar before it opened and managed to get a few wee sneaky pics while we were there. If I wasn’t working, I’d definitely be spending some time over the weekend in there. Here is the lovely Claire B showing off her home for the weekend.
Event days are when the butterflies start. It’s so exciting for everyone in the team to actually see the event fully opened, to watch all of the hard work come to fruition. We watch the campers rushing in to pitch their tents, the staff coming in to work at the bars and the fans running in to the arena to get the best spot at the front of the stage. When we see the press the following day with the amazing pictures and interviews with the worldwide acts and fans linking arms singing along to their songs, we are so pleased to know that we played a part in making all of that happen. Pretty sure Spence was the most pleased of all, having discovered Fred – the best dancer in the land. I hear he’s on 20% commission for all future appearances.
Don’t get me wrong, they are long days and it’s tough slog. At the time all you are thinking is “I am hungry. I’d quite like my bed too”, but then afterwards it’s pretty sad. You’ve spent the best part of 5 days away from home with the people you probably see more than your own family. You are living with each other’s little niggles, trying to understand the ‘young chat’ and putting up with everyone’s habits, yet at the same time there is a lot of hilarity. In some downtime this year for example, we somehow managed to get massively into “Snog, Marry, Avoid”. The game where you have to decide between three chosen people – which one you would rather snog, marry or avoid. The one which sticks in my head being “David Cameron, Ed Milliband or George Osbourne”. That was a tough one, I must say.
As we all stood in a big group watching the last few songs of the Sunday Main Stage Headliner – Noel Gallagher’s set (a tradition which Material have done for years), I looked around at the people who I am proud to say are part of my extended family. Nadine was running around doing what she does best (capturing the moment on film), Dan was giving Gemma a wee kiss on the head for a job well done, as well as putting a manly “I love you dude” arm round Kes. The Baptie sisters were singing at the top of their voices, Gillian, Danni, Sera and Jenny were in tears, Andrew , Sneds and Hayley were howling with laughter and I was just speechless (for once). Looking round at these guys put such a massive smile on my face. Sure, my pink crocs wellies and bumbag were getting put away for another year (gutted – they are the business), but I know that next time they are coming out of my cupboard, they will bring some amazing memories flooding back and it’ll be time to dust them off for yet another fabulous time with the best guys ever.
Thanks to Nadine’s sister for capturing this moment. I’m off to get a hanky…