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Oxegen is an annual Irishmarker music festival held since 2004, sponsored by Heineken. Now Ireland's biggest festival and the largest 100% CarbonNeutral event in Ireland, it was previously called Witnness, which ran from 2000 and was sponsored by Guinness. The event is promoted by MCD. Oxegen was originally a three-day festival but for 2008 was expanded to four days. It takes place at the Punchestown Racecoursemarker in County Kildaremarker, Irelandmarker and has an average attendance of around 90,000 a day, with around 80,000 of these camping on site for the duration, and the rest travelling to the site each day. It takes place on the same weekend as T in the Park in Scotland and shares a very similar line-up each year, although Oxegen is generally regarded as Ireland's version of the world-renowned Glastonbury Festivalmarker, with the 2008 festival sharing three of the same headliners as its Englishmarker counterpart. Oxegen 2009 was heralded as "a marvel of organisation" when compared to the Woodstock Festivalmarker held in the United Statesmarker in 1969.

Oxegen has attracted significant attention from outside Ireland, with many of those attending travelling from overseas and Northern Irelandmarker also experiences a "mass exodus" to the festival. Members of bands such as The Killers, Snow Patrol and R.E.M. have spoken positively of their experiences at the festival. Celebrities frequently attend, including models Helena Christensen (a regular attendant) and Glenda Gilson, Americanmarker television personality Chris Pontius, actor Josh Hartnett, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones, who was pursued by "half the journalists in the country" and many of his own relatives for much of the 2008 festival. However, Oxegen has also attracted some negative publicity, particularly following the 2006 festival. This is attributed to such factors as the age of admission -17- and easy access to alcohol.


Oxegen first took place in 2004 over the second weekend in July. The Killers, who went on to headline the festival twice in 2007 and 2009, were one of the bands to appear at the first Oxegen. Dave Keuning, in an interview with Hot Press prior to the 2009 festival, described Oxegen as "a big deal because it's one of the first European festivals we lpayed when we came over from Vegasmarker in 2004. We only had one hit—"Mr. Brightside"—and were worried in case no one showed. But the tent was packed with people screaming out the words to songs we didn't think they knew. It was that night we thought, 'Hey, something's happening here!' Oxegen more so than Glastonbury even was the highlight of our summer."

The original festival, Witnness, sponsored by Guinness, took place during the start of August with notable headliners, including Oasis, The Foo Fighters and Green Day; however in its second and third year, running changed its dates to the second weekend of July. Oxegen became a three-day festival in 2008.

Rodrigo y Gabriela made their breakthrough after being asked by Damien Rice to perform with him at Oxegen 2005.

The Japanese Popstars formed after viewing several dance acts at Oxegen 2006.

R.E.M. members Michael Stipe and Peter Buck watched several shows from side stage at Oxegen 2007 before returning to headline the festival the following year. Stipe credits his 2007 visit with inspiring him to want to go on tour again, saying: "I saw all these great bands and the next day after the festival we went into the studio." Muse, known for their spectacular light show and their position as one of the world's best live bands, headlined the Oxegen 2007.

Battles played the biggest festival show of their career at that time in the Pet Sounds Arena during Oxegen 2008. The Prodigy played four new songs at Oxegen 2008 before informing the crowd: "No disrespect to people on the other stages but they are in the wrong place. I'm going to take you back to fucking 1991". Also in 2008, Interpol were sent champagne by U2 as they arrived for rehearsals.

Chad Wolf of Carolina Liar described the band's performance at Oxegen 2009 as an "an out-of-body experience".

Each Oxegen has been defined by the attention focused on its own weather, with The Belfast Telegraph referring to 2005 as "the sunny one", 2006 as "the torrentially rainy one", 2007 as "the muddy one" and 2008 as "the so-so one".

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Headliners included: (more...) Headliners included: (more...) Headliners included: (more...) Headliners included: (more...) Headliners included: (more...) Headliners include: (more...)


As well as the current eight stages of music, there are three large areas for camping which are subdivided by number and the colours blue, red and green - which is the VIP campsite. The backstage and media areas are located in the middle of the site in the buildings normally used to watch the races. Stalls and shops are also provided for festival-goers, as well as toilet and shower areas for campers from 2006 onwards.

A Centra store was located in each campsite from 2007 onwards and An Post first appeared at the festival in 2008. The toilet facilities, which had previously been criticised by some as not being adequate for the large number of people at the festival, were improved in recent years. There is also a funfair adjacent to the arena, featuring a big wheel and other rides, such as the "Magic Carpet", the "Big Drop", and the roller coaster. In 2008, an additional funfair was located in the blue campsite alongside other campsite entertainment such as a circus, silent disco and the Xbox Live Stage. Glass in any form is banned from the festival site and bottle cork, can and umbrellas are banned from the concert arena.

52 miles of fencing are used across the site. 14 mega watts of power are used to energise Oxegen, with 28,000 miles of cable used to transfer this power. 25,000 litre water tankers are located around the site. Hats and cloaks are regularly seen, whilst wellies are also commonly worn by festival-goers.

2004 Festival

Oxegen 2004 took place at Punchestown Racecoursemarker from 10 – 11 July. The Strokes, The Cure, Basement Jaxx, The Darkness, Faithless, Kings of Leon, PJ Harvey, Wu-Tang Clan, The Libertines, Muse, Massive Attack, Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Chemical Brothers, Belle & Sebastian, Scissor Sisters, Elbow, Electric Six, Ocean Colour Scene, The Complete Stone Roses and Cartoon are some of the bands that played at the 2004 festival which took place over five stages. Orbital played their last ever Irish show at the festival, whilst Black Eyed Peas performed in Ireland for the first time in over two years. The Killers, Republic of Loose and Razorlight were among the bands headlining the New Band Stage. Other Irish acts to appear included Ash, The Divine Comedy, Hothouse Flowers, The Saw Doctors, HAL, Snow Patrol, The Devlins, Simple Kid, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Cathy Davey and Bell X1. David Bowie was due to headline the festival but had to pull out due to illness. Kings of Leon's performance was threatened by an incident at Roskildemarker the weekend before Oxegen when Nathan Followill injured his wrist but, despite the cancellation of a midweek show in Serbiamarker, the band turned up for Oxegen.

Tickets sold out a week before the event, having gone on sale on Friday March 5. One-day tickets cost €59.50, two-day tickets were priced at €110.00 whilst a two-day ticket with camping included cost €130.00.

2004 Line-up

The main acts that played the festival were:

Saturday 10 July Sunday 11 July
Main Stage: Main Stage:
* denotes cancelled performance

2005 Festival

Oxegen 2005 took place at Punchestown Racecoursemarker from July 9-10. Green Day and Foo Fighters headlined. Also appearing were New Order, Ian Brown, James Brown, The Prodigy, Queens of the Stone Age, The Frames, Keane, Feeder, The Killers, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, The Bravery, Nine Black Alps, The Departure, Razorlight, LCD Soundsystem, Echo & the Bunnymen, The La's and Snoop Dogg. Irish acts to appear included The Revs, The Saw Doctors, Kerbdog, HAL, Bronagh Gallagher, Humanzi, Director and The Blizzards.

2005 Line-up

For full line-up, see Oxegen 2005#2005 Line-up.

The main acts that played the festival were: [74868]

Saturday July 9

Oxegen Stage

Sunday July 10

Oxegen Stage

2006 Festival

The Main Stage on the Saturday of Oxegen 2006.

Oxegen 2006 took place at Punchestown Racecoursemarker from July 8-9. A limited number of tickets for the festival went on sale a week after the 2005 festival on Friday, July 15. On February 20, the festival was launched and the first acts were officially announced. Tickets went on general sale on Friday March 3 at 8 a.m., with weekend camping tickets priced at €160. This allocation of tickets sold out within 48 minutes. The festival itself encountered bad weather which eclipsed previous records. There were improvements on the Sunday afternoon with sunny skies and a cool, gentle breeze ensuring a decrease in wet festival-goers.

The Who and Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the festival, the former performing live in Ireland for the first time in 35 years, the latter for the fourth time in five summers. James Brown made his last ever live performance at an Irish festival and Arctic Monkeys their first festival appearance in Ireland. Also appearing were The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Placebo, Richard Ashcroft, Primal Scream, Editors, Feeder, The Kooks, Kasabian, Sigur Rós, The Feeling, The Futureheads, The Go! Team, The Automatic, Paolo Nutini and Lily Allen. Irish acts to appear included Bell X1, Damien Dempsey, Republic of Loose, Director, The Marshals, Sharon Shannon, The Blizzards, The Divine Comedy, Gemma Hayes and Humanzi.

Security arrangements were criticised as being poor by some sections of the media. The camp-site was not free from trouble troublesome, with reports of tent-burning and an alleged stabbing on the Sunday night/Monday morning of the festival. In the Green Room a considerable leak allowed rain into the enclosed marquee. There were 225 arrests for drugs (with 13 charged for possession with intent to supply), one alleged rape, and the Evening Herald reported that around 250 people were treated for alcohol and drug abuse. When 40 people were sent to Naasmarker General Hospital, fears were raised of a bad batch of ecstasy, but no evidence of such a batch was found. A number of media outlets were threatened with legal action on their coverage of Oxegen 2006 in its aftermath. These included the Irish Independent and, where all discussion of MCD events and venues was banned.

2006 Line-up

For full line-up, see Oxegen 2006#Stages.

The main acts that played the festival were:

Saturday July 8

Main Stage

Sunday July 9

Main Stage

2007 Festival

Oxegen '07 took place at Punchestown Racecoursemarker from July 7-8. The Live Earth concerts occurred around the world on the same day as the Saturday of Oxegen 2007. Tickets went on general sale at 8 a.m. on Friday March 2 2007. These sold out in under seventy minutes. The price of a day ticket rose to €96.50, a weekend ticket cost €177.50, whilst the price of a weekend ticket plus camping this year rose to €197.50 (roughly the same price as a three-day Electric Picnic ticket), as compared to €160 in 2006. As in 2006, it was possible to purchase four weekend camping tickets together and receive a free car parking ticket. As with previous years, a number of pre-sale tickets without the price increase went on sale in November 2006.

The headliners were Muse and The Killers. Also playing the festival were Arcade Fire, Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Bloc Party, Daft Punk, Kings of Leon, Brian Wilson, Interpol, The Kooks, Mika, My Chemical Romance, Avril Lavigne, Queens of the Stone Age, The Goo Goo Dolls, Editors, Klaxons, Maxïmo Park and The Fratellis. Irish acts that played included The Blizzards, Director, The Thrills, The Coronas, David Kitt, Delorentos, Dirty Epics and Sinéad O'Connor. Amy Winehouse pulled out at the last minute whilst The Immediate split up on the same day that they were announced.

2007 Line-up

For full line-up, see Oxegen 2007#2007 Line-up.

The main acts that played the festival were: [74869]

Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
Main Stage: Main Stage:
Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
Stage 2/NME: Stage 2/NME:
* denotes cancelled performance

2008 Festival

 Oxegen '08 was a three day event  a first for the festival. It took place from Friday July 11 until Sunday July 13 at Punchestown Racecoursemarker in Naasmarker, County Kildaremarker. Presale tickets went on sale at 08:00 on Friday November 30 2007 at a cost of €197. Actual sale tickets went on sale at 08:00 on Friday March 7 2008 but failed to sell out until May 7. Extra tickets went on sale on June 20 in “a move to combat touting”.

Kings of Leon were the first band to be announced on November 27 2007 at 17:00. They headlined the opening night of the festival. On February 15 2008, R.E.M. were confirmed for Oxegen 2008, headlining the Saturday night. On February 19 at 16:29, Kaiser Chiefs, The Raconteurs and Ian Brown were announced on the official website , followed by The Fratellis, Interpol and Counting Crows the next day . The Chemical Brothers and Justice were amongst those added on February 21, whilst on February 22, Rage Against the Machine were the last of the headliners to be confirmed. . On Sunday February 24, The Verve were confirmed on the official website for an appearance at Oxegen 2008, performing last on the Main Stage on the Saturday. In the following months more bands were announced including Stereophonics, The Prodigy, Panic at the Disco, The Feeling, Editors, Kate Nash, Bowling for Soup, The Hoosiers, Newton Faulkner, Scouting for Girls, The Zutons, Battles, The Wombats, The Subways, Ben Folds, The Stranglers, Amy Macdonald, Alphabeat, Amy Winehouse, The Pogues, The Charlatans, The Swell Season, Manic Street Preachers, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Ting Tings, Black Kids, MGMT, The Kooks, Groove Armada, The National, Tricky, The Go! Team, Feeder, The Pigeon Detectives, The Enemy and One Night Only. Irish performers to play the festival included The Blizzards, Republic of Loose, Róisín Murphy, Bell X1, Mundy, Aslan, Paddy Casey, The Coronas, The Saw Doctors, The Kinetiks, Dirty Epics, Declan O'Rourke, Delorentos, Future Kings of Spain, Concerto For Constantine, God Is an Astronaut, The Script, Fight Like Apes, Codes and Oppenheimer.

In late 2008, Oxegen '08 won the "Yourope Award for Best European Festival" which was voted for by members of the public from across Europe. The festival was chosen ahead of rivals such as Glastonbury, Roskilda and T in the Park.

2008 Line-up

For full line-up, see Oxegen 2008#Stages.

The main acts that played the festival were: [74870]

Friday 11 July Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
Main Stage: Main Stage: Main Stage:

Friday 11 July Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
The O2 Stage: The O2 Stage: The O2 Stage:
* denotes cancelled performance

Friday 11 July Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
Green Room: Green Room: Green Room:

Friday 11 July Saturday 12 July Sunday 13 July
Pet Sounds: Pet Sounds: Pet Sounds:

2009 Festival

Oxegen '09 took place over three days between 10–12 July with Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol, Blur and The Killers headlining.

2009 Line-up

Friday 10 July Saturday 11 July Sunday 12 July
Main Stage: The Brilliant Things Main Stage: Main Stage:

Friday 10 July Saturday 11 July Sunday 12 July
The O2 Stage: The O2 Stage: The O2 Stage:

Friday 10 July Saturday 11 July Sunday 12 July
Heineken Green Spheres: Heineken Green Spheres: Heineken Green Spheres:

2010 Festival (Oxegen X)

Oxegen X is scheduled to take place from 9–11 July 2010 at Punchestown Racecourse.

MCD productions have released a preliminary logo for this years festival, revealing the name to be Oxegen X instead of Oxegen 2010. It is thought that this years festival theme will be Futuristic or space due to the sci-fi appearance of the logo.

Leaks surfacing on claim that Daft punk will play Oxegen X this year among other festivals including Glastonburymarker. Weight has been thrown behind these claims as MTV. UK offers a similar story (although the band have yet to confirm or deny these rumors).

The Specials have confirmed themselves for Oxegen X or 2010, T in the park and Rockness in The Irish Independant.

Following U2's confirmation that they will be playing at Glastonburymarker 2010, The band announced that it will be their only festival this summer, and they will not be playing in their native country

On November 27th 2009, Kasabian announced that they will be appearing at Oxegen 2010. At the end of their performance in the Dublin O2, before the band left the stage Tom Meighan announced: "See you at Oxegen".


Tom Meighan of Kasabian ended his band's concert in the O2 arena, Dublin by declaring "See you at Oxegen" on November 27th 2009.

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