Coldplay provided the perfect end to an excellent weekend at Oxegen

Oxegen 2011 review

published: Wed 13th Jul 2011


Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011

Fight Like Apes
The first band I saw on Sunday was Fight Like Apes, a Dublin punk, synth band playing on the Vodafone stage. The band members were kitted out in uber tight and bright full body spandex suits creating a somewhat bizarre physical presence, the term trouser snake springs to mind. Stand out songs included 'Tie Me Up With Jackets' and a cover of Salt n Pepas 'Push It'. The crowd was small but most appeared to be true fans and it appeared that they enjoyed the eccentric performance and the band on the whole. Fight Like Apes gave the impression of a band musically tight and precise that haven't quite made it......yet that is!

Undoubtedly the largest audience of the weekend belonged to the current Queen of the music industry, Beyonce. My fellow journalists and I stood in the middle of a field surrounded by what seemed like the entire festival camping population and those with Sunday day tickets waiting for her to grace the Main Stage. I actually felt a tad sorry for some of the other acts playing during her set. As a 25 year old male I recall being somewhat unnerved by the screaming females around me and when she opened with 'Crazy in Love' the screaming got louder and I got edgy. Her voice and vocal ability was nothing short of breathtaking. She played a range of hits including 'Single Ladies' and 'Halo' along with some hits from her previous years in Destiny's Child. Despite not being the biggest Beyonce fan one could not fail to gaze on in bewilderment as arguably the most beautiful woman in the world serenaded an amazed crowd in a dusty/mud filled field in Co.Kildare.

Despite the amazing show put on by Beyonce my favourite act of the weekend was Coldplay. I went to this year's festival not particularly excited about seeing them and I should have been. The second song they played was 'Yellow'. When the guitar kicked in the Irish crowd starting jumping and everyone was singing along. It's an iconic song and playing it early in the set really set the tone for an amazing performance. Confetti blasted out from the stage along with balls and balloons. Chris Martin's attempt to great the crowd in Gaelic was not so good but it showed his appreciation and respect for the Irish crowd screaming his lyrics back at him and provided a funny anecdote. His performance of 'The Scientist' was the highpoint of my festival, a heartbreaking song throughout which people came together. Couples kissed and friends hugged but everyone was singing, it was a beautiful rendition of an amazing song. Christy Moore joined the band on stage for a performance of his song 'Ride On', which the vast Irish crowd thoroughly enjoyed. The second to last song was one of my favourites, 'Fix You' and as the guitar came to a crescendo fireworks exploded from behind the stage. I have heard people say Coldplay are amazing live, I can now testify to that! Coldplay provided the perfect end to an excellent weekend but should have taken off your lanyard!

A note on the festival.
This was my fourth outing to the Oxegen festival but my first outing in a journalistic capacity. I attended in 2005, 2008 and 2010 so knew what to expect. Having previously stayed in the Blue Campsite the Green was a welcome change and I actually managed to get some sleep. The Green campsite was mostly populated by couples and older festival goers looking to relax and enjoy the music. It is fair to say that the Blue and Red Campsites are nothing short of absolutely mental, tents swamped in mud, shopping trolleys on top of tents, people lying in their own vomit covered in excrement etc, so for those going in the future it's good to note that the green campsite does provide a more relaxing camping experience.

around the festival site (1)
We ventured into the blue Campsite on Saturday evening to checkout the DJ stage and local amenities, of which there are many. The funfair was good fun and the atmosphere in general around the campsite is amazing with partying going on literally all night. Food stalls in an around the festival provide food from all around the world. I would say that Oxegen is definitely not suitable for young children. The Festival hit the news this year for multiple stabbing incidents and arrests.

All in all though considering the volume of people attending the festival these incidents were extremely low in frequency with only a handful of offenders. I personally saw no trouble and everyone was enjoying themselves. All in all I had another excellent weekend at Punchestown and would recommend Oxegen for the bands it attracts and the atmosphere it generates.
review by: Gary Feeney

photos by: Andrew McLaughlin

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co Kildare, Eire, Ireland
224.50 for 3 day including camping
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011

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