Third outing cements Trnsmt as Glasgow staple
The third edition of DF Concerts’ Trnsmt took place at Glasgow Green over the weekend, with headliners Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen and George Ezra playing to sold-out crowds.
Around 150,000 festivalgoers descended on the event from 12 to 14 July to see acts including Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, the Snuts, Gerry Cinnamon and Years and Years. Organisers confirmed the return of the event immediately after the close of the main stage on Sunday, projecting the 2020 dates onto buildings in the centre of Glasgow.
“After three hugely successful years, Trnsmt is now an established part of Glasgow’s annual cultural calendar,” says festival director and DF Concerts chief executive Geoff Ellis.
“This year’s sold-out festival was the best yet with so many highlights. We can’t wait to return to Glasgow Green next summer for another phenomenal weekend of music.”
“Trnsmt is now an established part of Glasgow’s annual cultural calendar”
The festival was smaller in scale than the 2018 event, which took place over two consecutive weekends. A new addition to the 2019 festival came in the form of the female-only Queen Tut’s stage, which aimed “to close the gender play gap”.
Trnsmt launched in 2017, after DF Concerts put major camping festival T in the Park on hold due to “onerous site restrictions”. Ellis recently confirmed that T in the Park would not be making a return.
“It’s all about Trnsmt for us now,” states Ellis, who last year told IQ that the appetite for large-scale camping festivals in Scotland had declined.
Trnsmt also garnered the support of the local council, with Glasgow city council leader Susan Aitken naming Trnsmt an “integral part” of the city’s offering and commending the “vibrancy and enjoyment” it provides.
Trnsmt 2020 will take place from 10 to 12 July on Glasgow Green.
Ellis on Trnsmt: ‘The market has evolved’
DF Concerts expects to welcome in excess of 230,000 festivalgoers to the second edition of its Glasgow Trnsmt festival, which this year has grown to two weekends after an “amazing” response to last summer’s debut, CEO Geoff Ellis has said.
The launch of Trnsmt was announced in January 2017, two months after Ellis revealed DF’s major camping event T in the Park, a mainstay of the Scottish festival scene since 1994, would be going on an indefinite hiatus. Trnsmt took place that June – on the weekend formerly occupied by T in the Park – and attracted crowds of around 120,000, proving “an exciting new addition to the festival calendar”, said Ellis at the time.
“It went really well – better than we could have imagined,” Ellis tells IQ. “There are enough headliners around this year, so we thought, ‘Let’s go to two weekends’. We’ll always do at least one going forward, and two if there’s enough talent.”
The headliners in question are Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys who will top the bill on Friday 29 June, Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July, respectively, and Queen + Adam Lambert and the Killers, who headline on Friday 6 July and Sunday 8 July, respectively. Ellis’s gamble on expanding the fledgling event appears to have paid off, with ticket sales “rocketing” over the past few weeks and the Liam Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys shows already sold out.
“Last year we had one sell-out show over three days,” he comments. “This year we have six shows [of which are two are sold out], so we’ve doubled the number of shows and [at least] the number of sell-outs.”
“Tastes evolve, and as a festival producer you have to be mindful of that”
The weather is also looking good, with forecasts of a heatwave after weeks of cloud, and Ellis is feeling rightly proud of securing the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Queen, neither of whom are playing any other UK festivals in 2018.
But while music fans have taken to the new festival, a cursory glance at social media and in Scottish newspapers shows many fans and even local MPs are strongly in favour of T in the Park (TITP) returning, despite well-publicised problems with the 70,000-capacity Strathallan Castle site and resulting financial impact on DF Concerts.
Ellis says he has fond memories of TITP, which he co-founded with Stuart Clumpas in 1994 after two years booking Glasgow’s King Tut’s (300-cap.), but that the demand is no longer there for a camping event of that size in Scotland.
“The market in Scotland has evolved considerably,” he explains. “T in the Park was all things to all people, but the demand isn’t there for a festival of that size. There’s been a diversification in terms of taste, with people wanting smaller events.
“What people are liking is the fact they can come to Trnsmt and spend a few days in Glasgow – [to dip in and out of] the festival and go to clubs, bars, late-night restaurants… And all the local traders are buzzing about it – last year they felt they did their best year to date.”
“There’s a great spirit in Glasgow”
“We don’t have any plans to do a big camper event in the near future,” Ellis continues. “That’s not to say we’ll never do a camping event, but we’ve had a big success in Trnsmt.
“Tastes evolve, and as a festival producer you have to be mindful of that.”
Trnsmt 2018 is set to have extra resonance for local fans, as well as many its performers, after fire destroyed much of Glasgow School of Art and famed venue O2 ABC last weekend.
“There’s lots of sadness and woe in the city,” says Ellis. “ABC was firmly established as an important venue on the touring circuit – it hosted early shows by the Arctic Monkeys, Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Paolo Nutini – and was seen as that next step up from King Tut’s.
“The fire was disastrous for the city. Most musicians in Glasgow were touched in some way or another, and [Trnsmt performers] Franz Ferdinand studied there. There’s a great spirit in Glasgow, and music is good at bringing people together, but there’s that poignancy that maybe we’ll see manifest itself as Trnsmt.”
Trnsmt 2018 takes place on Glasgow Green, in Glasgow city centre, on 29 June–1 July and Friday 6 and Sunday 8 July. Five-day tickets are sold out, but limited numbers of day and weekend one passes are available from trnsmtfest.com/tickets.
Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro for first Trnsmt
Radiohead, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro will headline the first edition of DF Concerts’ new Glasgow festival, Trnsmt.
Trnsmt, launched last week, will take place in the second weekend of July – the traditional dates for T in the Park (TITP) – and has been described as a replacement for the on-hiatus festival, although the line-up appears to be targeted at a slightly different audience.
The line-up so far is as follows:
Unlike T in the Park, Trnsmt is a non-camping event, taking place on Glasgow Green in the city centre, and is half the capacity: 35,000, as opposed to 70,000 for TITP 2016.
DF Concerts head Geoff Ellis says: “We’re incredibly pleased to be bringing such a fresh, new festival to Scotland. Trnsmt will bring together the best in live music, from global acts to the best cutting-edge artists on the King Tut’s Stage […] against the iconic skyline of Glasgow. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing the rest of the line-up, as well as all the additional experiences that Trnsmt will have to offer, such as mouth-watering street food and a diverse offering of drinks. Stay tuned – there’s plenty more to come!”
Glasgow City Council leader Cllr Frank McAveety adds: “Trnsmt is already shaping up to be an exciting event that will add to that global reputation – and become a big date in the city’s summer calendar.”
Early-bird tickets are on sale on 3 February for £149 for three days.
DF Concerts announces Trnsmt for TITP weekend
Scottish promoter DF Concerts today announced the first details of its new festival in Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council had previously revealed it was in talks with the promoter with a view to hosting a non-camping festival in the city, Scotland’s largest, in July 2017.
Radiohead and Coldplay are rumoured to be in the running for headline slots.
In July, prior to the announcement of its at least temporary cancellation, DF said T in the Park was “back on track” following a revamp of its arena, campsite and transport infrastructure for 2016 in response to problems the previous year – although it did not sell out, despite a reduction in capacity of 15,000, to 70,000.
According to a source quoted by The Courier, Trnsmt will have a capacity of half that: 35,000.