Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jay-Z's €50k on private jet is only small change as Oxegen stars rap out demands

Bling: Retailers are hoping that Beyonce will accompany husband Jay-Z to Dublin when he flies in to headline at the three-day Oxegen music festival
Bling: Retailers are hoping that Beyonce will accompany husband Jay-Z to Dublin when he flies in to headline at the three-day Oxegen music festival

NIAMH HORAN Entertainment News Reporter

King of hip hop Jay-Z will fly into Ireland this week, clocking up a €50,000 bill for his private jet -- before he even steps foot on stage.

The world's richest rapper, who is renowned for his exuberant spending habits, will land in Dublin this Thursday for 36 hours of a whirlwind spending spree as he entertains 80,000 fans at the Oxegen music festival.

The star is set to bring his customised Gulfstream G3 jet and park it in Dublin for the duration of his visit.

He will also splash out up to €1,000-per-flight for lavish onboard catering services as he jets in and out of Ireland to treat fans to his headline performance in Punchestown.

The chart topper is just one of the world-class acts performing at this year's festival. Others include Muse, Eminem, Arcade Fire, David Guetta, Faithless, Prodigy, Mumford and Sons and The Black Eyed Peas.

Jay-Z, who counts President Barack Obama among his close friends, will be whisked to Punchestown racecourse in a fleet of luxury vehicles for his performance on Friday night, where he has made some relatively tame demands on organisers.

Requests have been made to pack his dressing room with red wine and a selection of spirits for the night, as the controversial star is said to enjoy tequila shots and cigars with the crew backstage before he performs.

The rapper is believed to have chosen the penthouse suite of the Westbury hotel for two nights before jetting out to London again on Saturday morning.

It is not yet known if hip-hop's leading lady Beyonce Knowles will accompany him on the trip -- but retailers on Dublin's Grafton Street are preparing themselves for a repeat performance of the mega shopping-spree the star indulged herself in on her last visit in June.

Meanwhile, Oxegen organisers are getting ready for a barrage of eccentric requests from other artists performing at the three-day festival. Eminem, who plays on Sunday, is renowned for his strange rider requests -- reportedly asking for "soft toilet paper, Kleenex and fresh hand soap" at previous gigs.

However, this year the star's wishes include the installation of state-of-the-art gym equipment worth over €5,000 in his dressing room as well as a PlayStation and video games to unwind with before his performance.

Meanwhile, organisers are working around the clock to ensure this year's event is the best yet. Already music label bosses have introduced a 3D screen to the festival. A first for an Irish festival, Nokia will bring a full 3D audio-visual Show to its brand new stage, whilefootball fans will be treated to World Cup matches on giant screens.

And for revellers who want to look the part, the Pink Pamper Salon will be at the blue campsite at Oxegen to ensure festival chic for the weekend.

The Hot Press signing tent, a free foot massage for anyone wearing Dunlop wellies, 'Pimp my Tent' artists and a silent disco are some of the other little touches MCD has in place.

But it's not all about indulging fans. Over the years, more than €1m has been raised for charity. And this year the 2Wheels.ie initiative has been put in place to add to the funds. Fans are being encouraged to cycle to the festival in aid of the Christina Noble Children's Foundation.

The 30km cycle from Dublin to Punchestown takes place on Thursday, July 8, and participants' baggage will be transferred to the racecourse ahead of them. A bus will be in place for the return journey.

While a limited number of tickets are still on sale for the festival, which has picked up the gong for Best European Festival for two years running, fans are advised to buy now.

More info at www.oxegen.ie

Sunday Independent

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