Oxegen Festival 2010: Rated!
Punchestown Racecource, Ireland - 8-11 July
19 July 2010
Overall - 7/10
Oxegen is Ireland’s biggest music festival with around 70,000 attending at this year’s event. Overall 2010 is a success. Playing safe with the line-up has made a real commercial event rather than a more cultured experience but with a strong market for such an affair, Oxegen needs not change. This festival is run very well and the outcome is a great weekend. The only down sight is the appearance of the Irish festivals’ most hated enemy: rain.
Getting There and Back - 8/10
Getting on and off site is pretty easy. The festival is well signposted. Oxegen is only 30 minutes from Dublin and there is a fantastic public transport network and car park system in place. There is a small charge for the shuttle bus service.
The Site - 7/10
The site is good. The main arena has a really easy layout that makes maneuvering between stages hassle free. Also there are good eateries and speedy bar queues. There seems to be more than enough toilets this year. There are two main campsites that have decent facilities and entertainment.
The festival doesn’t seem quite as busy as previous years, especially with people from the north and Britain. This could be due to a poor exchange rate and the gloomy economic climate.
The atmosphere is great. Irish festivals always have a real buzz around them and even the bad weather can’t affect this. Oxegen definitely attracts a younger audience with the majority of the crowd being 18 – 24, so there is a youthful feel over the weekend. The real atmosphere spoiler is the torrential rain dogging the festival. In the strangest way, the rain nearly adds to the festival, giving everyone a hands on deck and camaraderie feel which is quite amazing.
Music - 7/10
Panama Kings - 10/10
A Northern Irish three piece are first on in the Heineken tent. They really get the day started and shake off any hangovers from the night before. Their performance is excellent. A band to look out for in the future based upon this performance.
Hot Chip - 9/10
Hot Chip headline the Heineken tent. They are really on form and the atmosphere is as good as any throughout the weekend. The London electro outfit are great and fill what is a pretty huge tent. The organisers have got this one right on cue with their set ending just in time for fans to head over to the main stage for Muse.
Muse - 9/10
Muse are outstanding as they battle through their set in terrible conditions. The atmosphere is good throughout with the Oxegen crowd not letting the bad weather defeat them. They’re a super massive highlight as they tear through hit after hit. Muse really are a great live band and they have the stage show to match. They dress in futuristic costumes which sends the crowd into a frenzy before a single note is even dropped.
General Fiasco - 8/10
The young Northern Irish three-piece riffle through their set. The indie pop group really get the buzz going for what is the last day of the festival. The sun has even come out to play!
We Are Scientists - 7/10
They are a fantastic live band and keep the audience occupied between songs with their random humour. It’s really refreshing to see a band so relaxed on stage and able to interact so freely with the audience.
Biffy Clyro - 6/10
This performance is a little disappointing, only as they usually set the bar so high. They seem a little stale on stage if not out right tired. For a band known for their energetic live performances this really is average. The crowd react well to their hits it has to be said but it’s just a decent showing from the Scottish rockers.
Hudson Mohawke - 5/10
Before Eminem we check out Hudson Mohawke, a dubstep DJ from Glasgow. His set is great but really badly attended. His set time has been changed at the last minute so this may be catching people out.
Eminem - 3/10
Sunday is really all about one man. It’s the Eminem show. The man himself is accompanied by his D12 crew. He gives a mildly impressive performance if not a little disappointing. He is the but it is clear that’s he is rapping over his songs with the vocals already on the tracks. He is able to pick what lyrics he wants to sing without affecting the track too much. 75% of the music coming out of the PA is pre recorded, and from a purely musical point of view, this is not all that different to playing a CD in a stadium.