Music fans of all persuasions had to be in seventh heaven last weekend at the annual Oxegen music fest at Punchestown, Co. Kildare, where more than 70,000 fans camped in tents and went wild for a huge array of musicians over the three days, including Coldplay, Beyonce, the Black Eyed Peas, the Script, Foo Fighters, House of Pain... the list goes on and on and on.
Current American darlings Bruno Mars and teen grunge queen Ke$ha were also there but got nary a mention in the Irish press, so stockpiled was the line-up. Taylor Momsen, formerly of Gossip Girl, and her band were there too but also barely registered on the meter.
Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am was thrilled to be back in Ireland and rapped whimsically about being back in Dublin early on in the band’s set . . . “even though we’re in Kildare,” a picky reviewer from The Irish Times pointed out.
His bandmate Fergie was equally enthused with the Irish audience on Friday night. "I've got Irish blood running through my veins," she told fans. "You've showed support from the beginning. We love you guys.”
Indeed they do. The Peas didn’t hightail it out of Ireland after their show to perform next door at a festival in Scotland, but rather hung around and were said to have booked into the Westbury Hotel in the city center for a chillaxing weekend. They even included a couple of U2 songs in their setlist.
British kingpins Coldplay were effusive in their praise of Irish trad legend Christy Moore, as you’ll read in Mike Farragher’s column this week. And Beyonce arrived via private jet into Dublin on Monday morning, fresh from that festival in Scotland and complete with an entourage of 120 minders.
The sun shone for the most part and though there were a few incidents that required police intervention, Oxegen 2011 will go down as one of the best festivals in Europe this year for sure.