Oxegen 2008 to run for three days

Sat, Nov 24, 2007, 00:00

The thoughts of most may be preoccupied with the looming festive season. But for those music fans already pining for the summer rock festival programme, there was some welcome news yesterday following the announcement that Oxegen is to be extended to three days for the first time next July.

In a statement yesterday the promoters of the festival, MCD, also announced that fans can purchase a limited number of early-bird "weekend with camping" tickets at 2007 prices (€197.50 including booking fee) from 8am next Friday, November 30th.

There is also the option to buy tickets in advance of this date: just register for free on the www.oxegen.ie website to avail of "pre-sale" tickets from midnight next Tuesday, November 27th until 7am on Friday, November 30th. Tickets are limited to four per person and only relate to the "weekend with camping" option.

Those who buy these tickets will also receive an extra full day free due to the plan to open the festival on a Friday for the first time. Last July's event attracted 80,000 people to Punchestown racecourse in Kildare.Despite the extra day of performances next year, the capacity of the overall event is expected to remain at this level for licensing reasons.

It is thought that some rise in ticket prices will be introduced once the line-up is announced in February, to take into account the costs of providing the extra day.

Subject to licence, Oxegen will return to Punchestown on July 11th-13th next year.

"The campsite will open on Thursday and fans wishing to camp need to purchase a Thursday camping ticket in advance for an additional €20," the spokesman said.

Separately, U2 have denied reports they plan to take up a two-week residency at the O2 arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) in London next year. It is understood that some British websites have been offering tickets for the shows.

A message posted on the band's website, www. U2.com, on Thursday said it wished to "correct reports that tickets are becoming available for planned U2 shows next year".

"There are no plans for live dates next year - so please don't buy tickets for any U2 shows you see advertised," it stated.