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T In The Park ordered to repay £50,000 to Scottish government

By | Published on Wednesday 18 January 2017

T In The Park

Live Nation subsidiary DF Concerts has been ordered to return one third of a £150,000 grant from the Scottish government that it received for T In The Park in 2015.

As previously reported, the grant was provided to aid T In The Park’s now, I think it’s fair to say, pretty disastrous move from Balado in Kinross to Strathallan Castle. The funding proved controversial, and Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop was called before the Scottish Parliament to justify handing it over.

Criticisms included suggestions of “cronyism”, after it emerged that the grant was organised by a one-time aide of former SNP leader Alex Salmond who was working for the festival firm at the time. Others also questioned why DF Concerts, a profitable business majority owed by Live Nation, needed the money.

Hyslop was cleared of any wrongdoing, and in March last year Audit Scotland reported following a review that there had been a “clear rationale for the grant”, and that Hyslop’s department had attached clear and appropriate conditions to the financial award.

It is one of those conditions that has now come into play. The grant was meant to cover the three year agreement that DF Concerts had with Perth & Kinross Council to stage T In The Park at Strathallan Castle. However, it was announced in November, after two tricky years at the new site, which let to a slip in DF’s profits, that the festival would not go ahead in 2017.

With the decision not to put on the event this year, the Scottish government has said it now requires the return of the £50,000 that was supposed to cover year three of that deal.

A Scottish government spokesperson told reporters yesterday: “We have advised DF Concerts of the repayment that is due and expect repayment to be completed shortly”.

A rep for DF Concerts confirmed: “DF Concerts will be paying back the Scottish government grant as per the contract”.

Although the official line is that T In The Park is taking “a year out”, some in the Scottish music community are questioning whether it will actually return in 2018. DF Concerts is meanwhile planning to put on a new, non-camping event in Glasgow over what would have been the T In The Park weekend this year.