Irish music festival hit by credit crunch

Music fans doing their makeup at the Oxegen Music Festival.

Oxygen - Ireland’s biggest summer music festival - kicking off in under an hour, hasn’t sold out.

Just three years ago the festival’s tickets sold out in just over an hour, and that was four months before the event, but this is the era of the recession, and tickets are said to be still freely available.

And event organizers are said to be bemused at this year’s lack of interest in the tickets. The lineup is thought to be one of the best in years: David Guetta, Jaz-Z, The Black Eyed Peas, and many other stars are all due to play the three day event, but the line up alone, it seems, hasn’t been enough to stimulate normal ticket sales.

“It hasn’t sold out. There are tickets on eBay and on Gumtree so we are going to hold off until the day before and hopefully get a ticket cheaper. We can also check out the weather,” one intending spectator told The Belfast Telegraph, while another said that she was hoping to try buy tickets outside the gig: “€224 is just ridiculous prices,” said the nursing student, also quoted in the newspaper.

In previous years there were online bidding wars to just get your hands on a ticket, but this year tickets are available online by the bucket-load and many - if not all - are being sold at less than face value.<./p>

Promoters of Ireland’s other major summer music festival - Electric Picnic - have offered punters the chance to pay for their tickets in installments, in a bid to stimulate cash-strapped teenagers to better be able to afford the festival’s pricey tickets.

The phenomenon has reportedly been seen in music festivals across the UK and Ireland with fewer people set to pay out for the high ticket prices and it’s a growing source of concern for event organizers and promoters.

Another disappointed one-time reveller from Omagh told the paper how “You also have to factor in petrol and the price of food and alcohol [to the cost of the ticket]. It all adds up.”. For those reasons, he said, he would be abstaining this year.

“I went four years ago at the last minute and bought a ticket on eBay. I got it for half price the day before. So I said to my boyfriend why don’t we do the same this year?”, another intending music fan told the newspaper.

This year’s Oxygen Music Festival begins today on the Puncherstown Race Course in Ireland.