Grieving relatives have stopped a “sausage and cider” music festival from disrupting a ceremony honouring lives lost in the Piper Alpha disaster.
The boozy bash had originally been arranged for Saturday, July 6, at Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Park.
Revellers had been promised a choice of 30 ciders, with more than 20 types of sausage available and even a chili eating competition.
Performances from Oasis, Queen, Abba and Stereophonic tribute bands have also been promoted – plus a “huge headline act to be announced”.
But the loved ones of those who died in Piper Alpha will be gathering elsewhere in the park on that day to mark 36 years since the major fatality.
A ceremony takes place every year on July 6, with crowds gathering around the memorial statue in the park’s rose garden.
For many, it’s the closest thing they have to a gravesite as 30 bodies were never recovered.
Those families have now persuaded Aberdeen City Council into a change of plan, though questions remain over why the go-ahead was given in the first place.
The authority and the organisers have agreed to push the event back a fortnight.
It will now take place on July 20.
What is the sausage and cider festival?
Sausage and cider festival bosses say the 2023 tour, taking in dozens of locations across Britain, has been “insane”.
And they’re urging city revellers to “eat and drink the night away” by booking early.
It’s scheduled to run from 2pm to 11pm, and about 2,000 people have said they are “interested” on social media.
Tickets will go on sale on Friday, November 24.
Sausage and cider event at Hazlehead ‘distasteful’
The Press and Journal has seen an email sent to the council from concerned relatives, in advance of the change of date.
The complaint stated: “I believe it is of poor judgment to allow this to take place on the above date at Hazlehead park.
“This date marks 36 years to the Piper Alpha disaster and a memorial service is held at the park every year.
“I find it extremely disrespectful to authorise a festival at the park on this date.
“As a family who was directly affected by the loss of a family member on this date, this is a date of remembrance and is still to this day a very sad emotional day.”
The message urged the local authority to correct this “error of judgement”.
They added: “Those who have also been affected by the disaster will find this a distasteful and disrespectful choice of location for such event.”
Revellers could disturb two-minute silence
Comments beneath posts advertising the event on Facebook also raised concerns.
Irene Zawieja Downie said: “I can’t believe how disrespectful it is to have a music festival on the same date and place where grieving widows, children and families will be attending the ceremony, which includes a two-minute silence.”
Louise Macleod said that “as one of the family members affected”, she was “furious”.
A council spokeswoman said: “In response to concerns raised, we have agreed with festival organisers to move the date for the event.”