T Without Clumpas 64


UPDATE

Someone has today amended the Wikipedia entry for T in the Park to reinstate Stuart Clumpas as co-founder with Ellis. That is still not quite true – Clumpas was the founder and Ellis worked for him – but it is certainly much better.

I appreciate this post is of limited interest to most people, but it is curious to me. There is currently a row about a decision to give 150,000 of Creative Scotland’s money to the highly commercial and profitable T in the Park festival. My take on that is that it was a bad decision within Creative Scotland.

The founder of T in the Park was an old university friend of mine, Stuart Clumpas. Stuart ran – with breathtaking brilliance – the entertainments at Dundee University students union while I was President. It seems incredible now, but we had the biggest bands in the country on a regular basis, including the world premier of a Mike Oldfield album, and the Pretenders while Brass in Pocket was number 1, Dexy’s Midnight Runners just as they hit, and much else. Stuart was truly amazing. With his collaborator John Reid he went on to establish an entertainments company – I used to hear these two students cooking up their plans over pints. Within six months they had the biggest nightclub in Dundee (Fat Sam’s), within a couple more the biggest in Glasgow (King Tut’s). Stuart went on to found both T in the Park and the V Festivals. I haven’t seen him since about 1984, rather to my regret. Last I heard, third hand, he sold his festival interests and retired down under.

Anyway, the point of that trip down memory lane is that the current controversy over T in the Park led me to look it up on Wikipedia. I found that, extraordinarily, the T in the Park page makes no mention whatsoever of Stuart Clumpas, and attempts to create the impression that it was founded by its current director Geoff Ellis, who it says “was involved from the start” and “organised the first T in the Park festival”. Well, he did some of the organisation, but only as an employee of Stuart Clumpas, who has been airbrushed from the T in the Park Wikipedia page as though he were a former Soviet leader taken out of the photo.

This is an interesting comment on the integrity of Wikipedia. But it is also an interesting comment on the integrity of Mr Ellis. That Wikipedia page had the unmistakeable feel of a promotional page which has been heavily written and edited either by Mr Ellis or by someone working on behalf of Mr Ellis. And if Geoff Ellis is the kind of shyster who would falsely claim to have founded T in the Park and edit out the real founder, does that cast a light on the morality of the rather dubious 150,000 payment?


64 thoughts on “T Without Clumpas

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  • Geoff

    Well there is a wiki page for King Tut’s –
    King Tuts at wikipedia
    (hope i formatted the link correctly, time will tell)

    According to this page, “King Tut’s also runs a tent, aptly named King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, in Scotland’s biggest annual music festival, T in the Park, hosting many big acts. King Tut’s enjoy links with the festival through their founder Stuart Clumpas who now runs the festival

    Presumably this is a little out of date if Mr Clumpas has retired, but saying ‘who now runs’ suggests that he didn’t start it. Is this page also being airbrushed? – it would be odd to leave his presence in whilst writing him out.

  • Jemand

    I can confirm that Clumpas is down under and managing the entertainment portfolio of my local pub. Tonight we have an indigenous punk band, Wombats Vomit, performing. There’s also a two for one meal deal if you bring a woman along – i think it’s $12 for two dishes of kangaroo mince lasagne from our worldly, French speaking chef, fat Kev. Be quick, kitchen closes in an hour and chicken wire is brought down before midnight.

  • fred

    I don’t think the beef is so much about that money was given but more how it was given and why. If the organisers had gone through normal channels and filled in a form to be submitted and judged on merit along with other applications I don’t think there would have been a problem. The partner of Angus Robertson and former adviser pulling strings to secure government money for the already profitable firm she worked for is the sort of thing you expect from Tories not a party which came to power calling themselves an alternative to the usual brand of politics.

  • Robert Crawford

    Dundee University has produced some very talented people.

    Then again, it is one of five Scottish Universities who are in the top 200 in the world.

    Rock-on Scotland and our Scots!!!.

    Whaw’s like us? Damned few, and they are all dead!

  • Peter Beswick

    I understand that Wiki has an editing feature that anyone can use to correct inaccurate boasts or just add lies, I never found the need myself.

    But Craig should consider having one on here after all if someone claims to have been on a member of a University Challenge Tournament winning team and was only a reserve ( and perhaps not in the same year) that should be corrected.

    If I am wrong I apologise but if Craig is wrong and if “was involved from the start” and “organised the first T in the Park festival” are true but gives the impression that he was the main man, I think the reference to bloke’s shyster status and questionable morality needs to be withdrawn but questioning the integrity of Wiki can stay, after all who pays any attention to it?

  • craig Post author

    Hi Peter,

    University Challenge teams consisted of five people, one of whom was the reserve. I was indeed the reserve for the Dundee University team that won the competition. I attended every round but as nobody ever got sick or missed, I didn’t get on TV. It was great fun and very frustrating at the same time. I have written about it. When the team got called back for the tournament of past champions, I finally got used as Graeme couldn’t make it. I have never claimed otherwise.

  • harry law

    Whatever the merits of 150,000 going to a profitable organisation,on its face seems wrong. Similarly calling someone a ‘shyster’ simply because of a ‘feeling’ that part of a Wikipedia entry ‘may’ have been put in by Mr Ellis or friend of his, and for that entry to be false, is not only wrong but positively defamatory. In fact it was not false at all, as he does not claim to have founded T in the park and as you admit yourself “Well, he did some of the organisation, but only as an employee of Stuart Clumpas”. Craig you will never make a Diplomat.

  • Peter Beswick

    Craig

    Were you a Graeme or a Don? I know you went on to become a Don or even better a president of something but accuracy matters.

  • craig Post author

    Harry Law

    In an article about Geoff Ellis, the statement “Current festival director Geoff Ellis was involved from the start… He organised the first T in the Park festival in 1994” would be perfectly fair. However in an article about T in the Park, those statements together with the complete omission of the actual founder, are highly misleading.

    T in the Park have loads of money, including 150,000 from the taxpayer. Don’t feel sorry for them. They can always sue.

  • craig Post author

    Peter,

    You are right, it was not Graeme but Don who couldn’t make it to the revival. Accuracy does not matter when it is pointless pedantry.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Craig

    Do you correct your Wikipedia page if alterations are made to it? Do you write it yourself?

    I don’t know how it works, sorry. It seems to me that if you have to make corrections yourself you would never get time to do anything else.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • craig Post author

    Could someone who knows how to do it edit the T in the Park page to note that it was founded by Stuart Clumpas, referencing the links John Spencer-Davis quoted above. It should also note Mr Ellis was an employee of Mr Clumpas when he first worked on the Festival.

  • Peter Beswick

    So you concede then Craig that it might not have been bloke who made those boastful claims and someone obviously trying to wind you up. I’m sure its contagious.

  • craig Post author

    Peter,

    The Wikipedia article on T in the Park has very plainly been edited by somebody to remove the name of its actual founder and to boost its current Director as though he founded it. I very much doubt that happened without his knowledge.

    There seems to be no mention of University Challenge on my Wikipedia page. I find your obsession with it, down to knowledge of who was or wasn’t absent on particular occasions, quite creepy and stalker-like.

  • Peter Beswick

    Been quite a bit of paranoia around recently, Anyone else noticed?

    BTW Craig they weren’t my muddy boots I take size 9’s not 11’s (oh no I’ve given myself away)

  • craig Post author

    Baal,

    I presaged this post with a comment that its subject was interesting to me but wouldn’t be to most people. I find your unpleasant comment completely uncalled for. You can either ignore the post if it doesn’t interest you, or expand on what you find not “credible” about it.

  • Bob Smith

    [ Mod: Caught in spam-filter – Time updated]
    ——
    Craig, I’m surprised you are surprised. Tons of Wiki articles are just puff pieces for the people they are about, mainly politicians. Challenging the content is very difficult as the subject often employs people to write and update the articles, so even going in an editing has no effect. The sad thing is that a growing number of students, despite advice to the contrary, quote from wiki without checking sources.

  • Tony M

    I thought it had origins as the “Party on the Green” at Glasgow Green, specifically a free event on a part known as Flesher’s Haugh. Tennent’s Brewery affiliation, sky-high entry costs, and relocation to the middle of no-where tend to limit the audience to rather more affluent and highly mobile weekend rebels who go back to their studies in Vampire Capitalism with Tartan-tinged Hospitality or jobs incinerating fluffy bunnies during the week.

  • harry law

    If the two factual assertions in Wikipedia 1/ “Current festival director Geoff Ellis was involved from the start…and 2/ He organised the first T in the Park festival in 1994″ would, according to you, be perfectly fair. Then I don’t see how it is “highly misleading”. Whether a statement is true or false is proven by evidence. ‘Misleading’ means there is doubt as to whether something is true or false.
    So that, as an example a product advertised as being made in Birmingham,which is true, may give purchasers the impression [falsely] that it was made in the UK. When in fact it was made in Birmingham, Alabama US. That is misleading.

  • Peter Beswick

    I haven’t read your Wiki page Craig or even knew you had one, so no obsession there then.

    I read the “and he was a member of Dundee’s tournament winning Granada TV University Challenge team in 1983.” in the “About Craig Murray” on this website.

    I was impressed, I would still have been impressed (but less so) if it had said you made reserve for the team the following year. But it didn’t it is on your webpage to impress.

  • Je

    The test of a Wikipedia page is to make the change and see how many seconds until someone reverts it. Israel related pages are one way to totally waste your time trying to introduce even a semblance of balance. However long you spend on it someone only has to press a button and – puff.

    There are a lot of good people working on Wikipedia – and then there are the pages which attract people with an agenda. People who try and create balance get howled down, worn down, give up.

  • craig Post author

    Harry Law,

    No. Peter Beswick is quite right in that the statement about me he quotes is perfectly true, but actually misleading. Misleading means causing people to form a false impression or opinion, often without actually lying.

  • Squonk

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/830160.stm

    Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK

    Clumpas has success down to a T

    T In The Park

    T In The Park is a highlight on the music calendar
    Stuart Clumpas is one of the most successful figures in the British music industry.
    He and colleague Geoff Ellis are the main men at DF Concerts, the company behind the increasingly popular annual T in the Park music festivals in Scotland.

    Mr Clumpas, 41, also owns King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow and has shares in the radio station Beat 106, which has just been bought by Capital Radio for £33m.

    The former Dundee University graduate runs his business from his home in a remote part of Stirlingshire, far from the madding crowds who flock to the annual T in the Park festival now held in Perth and Kinross.

    He began his career by booking student union gigs from a rented backroom in Dundee before cutting his teeth in the music industry at King Tut’s which became a stamping ground for new talent.

  • Squonk

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/scotland/830080.stm

    Car found after promoter robbery

    Stuart Clumpas T in the Park graphic

    Stuart Clumpas has built up T in the Park

    Police have found the car used by masked raiders to escape with up to £20,000 after tying up and robbing the promoter of Scotland’s biggest music festival.
    Stuart Clumpas’ home in an isolated part of Stirlingshire was broken into in the middle of the night by three men wearing balaclavas.

    They bound the T in t

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Thank you. I will try to do so. First, the crafty implication that Ellis is a ‘shyster’…’if’…should not have been made without concrete evidence. On what you have supplied, it is a smear. Ellis, on his own site, claims only to ‘spend a lot of time’ on T in the Park. Maybe he makes a little something from it; didn’t Clumpas? Maybe he’s a music business professional? His CV looks rather similar to Clumpas’s to me. No, I have nothing to do with either of them – never heard of them before today, as it happens.

    Second, as a serious aspiring politician – I’ll accept that at face value for now – bitching about a Wikipedia entry is almost as pointless as complaining about the allocation of arts funding. Still, if that annoys you, how about this?

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/entertainment/13259812.Geoff_Ellis__the_man_who_created_T_in_the_Park/

    But never mind your university chum, and good luck to him in Australia. Arty conversations in DUSA or the Braes are of zero interest to the average voter. Still less in the DCA…the issue you raise has an aspect which reflects badly on Glasgow Labour, if you choose, and concerns council taxpayers’ money.
    Here:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13797334.Hyslop_reveals_Glasgow_gave_DF___200_000_for_concerts____but_council_says_it_will_get_every_penny_back/

    Free gift. Use it.

  • Squonk

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12230344.Why_I_apos_m_getting_out_of_here/

    IT took Stuart Clumpas seven years’ hard graft and deep reserves of boyish optimism to build Scotland’s biggest outdoor music event, T In The Park, into a highly successful annual institution. That same work ethic and dogged business sense, allied to a forceful and decisive personality, have likewise underpinned Clumpas’s brusque stewardship of the rest of his considerable 20-year-old business empire, the most visible part of which is Scotland’s most influential club-sized live music venue, King Tut’s in Glasgow.

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