Tuesday 23 January 2018

Take a deep breath...let the fun and games begin at Oxegen

80,000 flock to Oxegen for the year's biggest party

Danielle Lynch, Tasha O'Toole, Billie Rose McCusker, Aoife Finnerty and Michelle Lynch, all from Cork, celebrate their arrival at Punchestown
Danielle Lynch, Tasha O'Toole, Billie Rose McCusker, Aoife Finnerty and Michelle Lynch, all from Cork, celebrate their arrival at Punchestown

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

THIS is how the other half enjoy their music festivals.

While tens of thousands of music fans attending the Oxegen festival will camp and get covered in mud, the VIPs will have an altogether different experience.

Headliners Beyonce, Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas will see a posher side of Punchestown in a backstage area that more resembles a private members' club.

Antique furniture, period pictures, leather chesterfield sofas, screens and even a radiogram are among the lavish facilities laid on to entertain some of the world's biggest music stars.

Reclining on their vintage suites, the popstars can take time out reading 'The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde', play a range of board games, pinball or table football.

As for wolfing down burgers, it's only fine dining for the A-list, with a team of 12 chefs in the racecourse restaurant attending to their needs. "We don't leave any stone unturned when it comes to keeping the artists happy," Justin Green of MCD told the Irish Independent.

Meanwhile, in the fields outside, thousands of music fans were continuing to arrive last night, undeterred by crowds or damp turf.

By lunchtime the travellers had converged in a big field in Co Kildare as the gates opened on the biggest music festival of the year.

For Declan Lindsey (19), who left Dundalk at 9am with friend Brian McDonald (17), getting to Oxegen early was all about "getting a good camping spot".

Last night fans on the campsites were entertained by tribute acts including the Michael Jackson-themed Man In The Mirror, and Oasis homage Definitely Might Be, as well as Bob Marley tribute Legend.

A mixture of warm sunny spells and heavy showers have been forecast for the four-day event.

"Today will see the worst of the Oxegen weather, with thundery downpours expected for a lot of the day," Irish Weather Online's Peter O'Donnell said.

"Drier periods are likely in the evening, but anyone heading to Punchestown is advised strongly to pack their wellies and raincoats!"


But the 80,000 music fans expected are being told they can look forward to a sunnier Saturday and Sunday.

"There will be long periods of sunshine on Saturday and Sunday, with a risk of light showers. We expect temperatures to hit the mid-to-high teens."

The music kicks off from 2pm today with The Black Eyed Peas, The Script, The Strokes, My Chemical Romance and Swedish House Mafia all playing.

Irish Independent

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