The Story so far…
Today, OXEGEN is widely regarded as one of the world’s top music festivals so it’s easy to forget that the festival only started in 2004. Since then, Punchestown (Naas, Co.Kildare) has hosted some of the world’s greatest acts and witnessed many unforgettable moments.
Down the years, many performances have stood out including The Who’s first appearance in Ireland for more than 35 years in 2006, Muse’s phenomenal headline set in 2007 and of course Kings Of Leon closing the inaugural Friday night OXEGEN in 2008.
But, it’s not just the bands that make the festival so memorable. It’s a weekend dedicated to great entertainment, where festival-goers can experience everything from the high octane thrills of the festival funfairs, the communal silliness of The Headphone Disco to the more relaxed pleasures of the campsite cinema screen.
Above all though, the thing that makes OXEGEN unique, and the reason that it continues to be the ‘must play’ tour destination for so many huge acts, is the incredible atmosphere created by the fans.
Oxegen 2010 burst on to the festival scene with its most impressive line-up to date and was awarded Best Line-Up at The European Festival Awards.
Propaganda kicked off things on Thursday night with live DJ sets from the Blue Campsite ensuring that early fans were entertained from the moment they pitched their tents. The Live Stage also broadcast the World Cup Final on the biggest mobile screen in Europe.
Fancy Dress Friday got fans in the party mood and Arcade Fire rounded off the first day on the Main Stage in epic style.
Saturday saw three of the biggest names in music play Oxegen – Jay Z, The Black Eyed Peas and Muse.
Mumford & Sons rousing set packed out the Heineken Green Spheres tent and 30 Seconds to Mars made thirty fans’ dreams come true as they were invited on stage with the band mid-performance.
Eminem’s highly anticipated performance closed the Main Stage on the Sunday and was widely regarded as one of the finest headline sets ever seen at the festival.
Oxegen 2011 has a lot to live up to but we’re well up for the challenge…
In 2009, the festival raised the bar yet again with a sensational line-up and some brilliant new features on site.
The big talking point in the run up to OXEGEN last year was the hugely anticipated return of Blur. And they certainly fulfilled all expectations with a blistering Friday night headline performance. It’ll live long in the memory of anyone who was there, especially the incredible rendition of ‘Tender’ which provoked perhaps the biggest mass singalong ever seen at the festival!
Kings of Leon, The Killers and Snow Patrol also reaffirmed why they’re big favourites with OXEGEN fans with equally breathtaking headline sets.
You guys were also raving about Sunday performances from rock behemoths Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction, Pet Shop Boys visually spectacular set in Heineken Green Spheres and rising star Florence + The Machine at The Red Bull Stage.
OXEGEN 09 also witnessed the debut of international superstar Lady Gaga whose outrageous costumes and mega hits Poker Face and Just Dance electrified the whole place!
Once again, OXEGEN 09 was voted by fans from across Europe as the Best International Festival at the UK Festival Awards.
2008 saw OXEGEN once again open its gates to 70,000 campers and 10,000 day trippers. Headliners Kings of Leon, REM and Rage Against the Machine were joined by over 150 acts including The Verve, Amy Winehouse, Kaiser Chiefs and The Prodigy.
OXEGEN 08 gave many Irish fans the chance to catch some great new bands live for the first time – with the likes MGMT, Vampire Weekend and Black Kids winning many new converts.
Last year was also the first time that fans could begin their OXEGEN experience earlier by camping on Thursday night with three days of music from Friday to
Not content with providing a top notch line-up, OXEGEN also had many other delights on offer. The choice was wider than ever before. Fans were spoilt for choice with food from a range of countries across the world and a host of luxury and eco camping options were available in the green campsite. And when fans were not soaking up the fantastic music on offer, they could satisfy adrenaline craving sat the festival funfairs or kick back at The XBOX Live Stage’s giant cinema.
Voted one of NME’s top three festivals, OXEGEN returned in 07 with an impressive line-up and some fantastic new features. Headliners Muse and The Killers delivered stunning shows and other bands to rock Punchestown included Snow Patrol, Scissor Sisters, Daft Punk, Razorlight, Arcade Fire and outstanding new talent in the shape of CSS, The Gossip and Klaxons.
This was also the year that The Green campsite made it’s debut, with a host of luxury camping options available for the discerning festival-goer.
OXEGEN ’06 witnessed The Who’s first Irish show in over three decades. Soul legend James Brown played what was to be his last ever performance at an Irish festival and Arctic Monkeys confirmed their reputation as the world’s hottest new band.
Other bands on the bill included Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Kasabian, Editors, Sigur Ros, Primal Scream and Lily Allen.
Facilities for festival-goers were further improved in 2006, with more toilets and the introduction of hot showers – a first for any Irish festival and a firm hit with campers.
The following year saw OXEGEN’s sold out crowd enjoy a sun soaked weekend of incredible music. Green Day, Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age rocked Punchestown while cult heroes New Order and The La’s wowed fans with fantastic sets.
Festival-goers were kept dancing throughout the weekend with performances from dance behemoths The Prodigy and LCD Soundsystem.
The first OXEGEN took place at Punchestown Racecourse in the summer of 2004, bringing some world class bands such as The Strokes, The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Muse, Snow Patrol and The Cure to Ireland.
OXEGEN’s always had an eye for the best new talent and 2004 began a fine tradition of showcasing the hottest new bands with The Killers and Razorlight among those appearing on The New Bands Stage.
Organisers, fans and critics alike agreed that OXEGEN’s debut was a resounding success.