Geoff Ellis, who runs Scotland’s T in the Park Festival, is also an executive committee member of the UK Concert Promoters Association, a board member of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and a member of the fundraising committee for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy
GLASGOW BOUND: I started my career as a permanent entertainments manager at Middlesex Polytechnic in London, booking The Stone Roses for one of their first concerts in the capital. I then worked at London venue the Marquee Club before heading up to Glasgow in 1992 to join DF Concerts.
MUTUAL COACHING: Every day is a school day; I’m always learning. I was in Fuji, Japan recently where I saw some inspirational things that I took with me. I’ve also visited Coachella, and they subsequently came to visit us at T. We don’t have the deserts or palm trees, but they loved our countryside and festival spirit. Burning Man is definitely on my to-do list.
DIVERSE: Our team has promoted bands including Take That, Kings of Leon, Eminem, AC/DC, the Eagles, Rihanna, Radiohead and Coldplay. We’ve event managed Glasgow on Ice, The Papal Visit to Bellahouston Park and Radiance – Glasgow’s Festival of Light.
HIGHLY CHARGED: The high level of policing charges in Scotland is a real bugbear. In England you are only charged for what you request; in Scotland the cost is essentially paid for twice by festivalgoers.
TALENT PLATFORM: The PRS for Music tariff doesn’t fit the festival model, as there’s comedy, theatre, stores, and we have to build the venues ourselves. We even have a hospital on site. Festivals are a platform for emerging talent to shine, which benefits the music industry.
REALLY WILD SHOW: Wildlife is an issue that will become more prevalent. Ospreys in particular are becoming more prominent in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Nature and man must co-exist, but there’s cases of ospreys nesting in floodlights in huge, busy US football stadiums. Even wildlife expert Bill Oddie said festivals are low down on their threat levels.
PERFECT BLEND: T in the Park is not going to expand, it’s as big as it can be. We have to keep evolving, making the most of the woodland and rolling countryside, but it’s the people that make it. The festival’s mix of young and older people create a peaceful atmosphere.
ACTING UP: We need more homegrown headliners. The likes of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith are making strides, but there’s no Biffy Clyro or Green Day type acts in the pipeline.