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Sunday 18 November 2018

A unanimous success despite the weather

Blur's Damon Albarn encourages the crowd to join in during the band's performance at Oxegen
Blur's Damon Albarn encourages the crowd to join in during the band's performance at Oxegen

DESPITE the downpours, the Oxegen music festival was generally hailed as a success by fans, gardai and concert promoters MCD last night.

With 80,000 festival-goers on-site, there were fewer than 100 arrests -- a better record than for last year's event, when about 140 people were arrested.

And while heavy rains lashed music lovers for a merciless five hours on Saturday night, fans remained relatively dry for the remainder of the weekend.

An MCD spokesman said the weather had not dampened the spirits of the crowd and that the festival had gone according to plan.

"There are 80,000 people on site and everyone is having a good time, so everything is on course," he said yesterday.

More than 1,800 security personnel manned the campsites, arena and car parks on a 24-hour basis, while 210 gardai were on duty throughout the three-day festival.

Most of the arrests were for illicit drugs, public order offences, road traffic, assault and theft offences.

In one serious incident, a 28-year-old man was stabbed with a bottle at the entrance to the blue car park between 11pm and midnight on Friday.

A man in his 20s was arrested and detained at Naas Garda Station under Section 4 of the offences Against the state act.

The injured man was taken to Naas General Hospital and later transferred to St James Hospital in Dublin but his wounds were described as not being life-threatening.

The arrested man was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

After the problems which beset the Oasis gig in Slane Castle last month, fans reported few difficulties in accessing the racecourse, using public transport.

A shuttle bus ran regularly between the venue and Naas on a 24-hour basis.

Grainne Cunningham

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