DF Concerts’ head Geoff Ellis has denied accusations of favourable treatment relating to the £150,000 of Scottish Government granted to T in the Park following its move from Balado this year.

Talking to the Sunday Herald, Ellis said he did not believe he had been given special access to culture secretary Fiona Hyslop by Jennifer Dempsie, who formerly worked for DF Concerts PR firm Burt Greener before becoming a special adviser to SNP leader Alex Salmond.

Dempsie showed the First Minister at the time around the T in the Park site at Balado was working on a contract for DF Concerts as a project manager on the festival when she arranged a meeting for Mr Ellis with Ms Hyslop. She previously organised the SNP’s ‘Big Party’ with Sandi Thom and St Jude’s Infirmary during the election campaign.

Mr Ellis also responded to accusations that he had threatened to pull T out of Scotland: “I’ve never threatened a Government minister and I wouldn’t make those threats. I think that would be crass. That wouldn’t happen.” He did however suggest that had funding not been forthcoming the festival could have become a “single-stage event on multiple nights.”

He also pointed out that DF had received government funding in the past when Labourwere in power, the ‘Healthy T’ initiative receiving “about £20,000,” while music fans will also recall the T Break stage receiving Arts Council funding on at least one occasion.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop had earlier told MSPs that T required a seven-figure sum to cover “unanticipated costs” related to the moving the festival’s relocation to Strathallan.

More in the original article at www.sundayherald.com