Monday 19 February 2018

Stage set for grand finale to festival

It's the crowd that makes Oxegen great as 80,000 gear up for Beyonce and Coldplay, writes Barry Egan

WELL, at least "nobody died'', according to Amanda Brunker, as she spoke to the crowd following her controversial performance at Oxegen-11 yesterday afternoon at Punchestown Racecourse.

"And nobody threw a brick or rotten eggs at me. So it was worth all the hate,'' the journalist and author added in reference to all the bile on Twitter her performance at Oxegen provoked beforehand.

So, was it worth it?

It's hard to say, really. There were more representatives of the media present than actual fans to see the multi-talented Brunker. And she only performed one song -- a Latin dance version of U2's With Or Without You.

Sporting a denim mini, Sixties flower top and pink sunglasses, Brunker was not exactly Lady Gaga. She was, however, cheesier than a disco in a cheese shop.

But fair play to her, you had to admire the bravery of the blonde venus for getting up in front of a crowd and just doing it.

Elsewhere, the atmosphere was just like the weather. Bright and sunny. Everyone was friendly and clearly up for a good time. The 80,000 bon vivants on site yesterday and the day before were having the time of their young lives, enjoying the Script, Black Eyed Peas and the Strokes on Friday night and were clearly gearing up to enjoy themselves as much last night to the Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys and Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye. The Script's Danny O'Donoghue obviously enjoyed telling the crowd: "We're on home turf this is our festival.''

The audience was in firm agreement, as was the boss of Oxegen, MCD's Denis Desmond, who said: "It's the audience who make Oxegen great. They are very well behaved, look after one another and, rain or shine they give the artists a great reception."

With the sun beating down there were great expectations ahead of the headline performances of Beyonce and Coldplay tonight at Oxegen. It was a testament to the strength of the bill that both acts headlined separate nights at Glastonbury two weeks ago and are going straight on after each other on the main stage tonight in Punchestown.

"I'm looking forward to Beyonce of course but I'm more of a Coldplay fan,'' said Dublin-based Estonian model Kristi Kuudisiim.

"Beyonce is going to be the gig of the century,'' said stylist Amanda Kevlin.

It's a challenge that Beyonce will happily take up when she goes on stage at 8pm, and when 80,000 festival-goers are likely to be crazy in love.

Sunday Independent

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