Oxegen festival cancelled for 2012

Wed, Dec 21, 2011, 00:00

The Oxegen music festival will not be going ahead next year.

Promoter MCD has confirmed the Oxegen festival will be taking a break next year, as Glastonbury is doing.

Separately, it has applied for a licence to stage up to six concerts in the Phoenix Park next July. Each concert will have a capacity for up to 45,500 people.

The Stone Roses have already been confirmed for a concert on Thursday, July 5th which is the day before Oxegen was due to start. To date it has coincided with its sister festival, T-in-the-Park in Scotland, which takes place on the weekend of July 6th to 8th.

MCD may host a conference the day after the Stone Roses play or during that weekend to coincide with T-in-the-Park. It would be followed by a number more through July. The Phoenix Park concerts will be similar to those held in Marley Park where the stage is set up and various acts play over a number of weeks. Each show will be a standalone event.

Suspicions that Oxegen would not be going ahead next year were amplified when no pre-Christmas announcement was made about early bird tickets despite those for T-in-the-Park being announced.

Oxegen has been running from 2004 and is the biggest music event in Ireland attracting major contemporary music acts. Last year’s line-up included Beyonce, Coldplay and the Black Eyed Peas.

Prior to Oxegen the event was known as Witnness. It took place at Punchestown Racecourse and, at its peak, sold out its capacity of 80,000 tickets.

However, the recession has taken its toll on those in 18 and 25 age cohort for whom the festival has been a right of passage.

Some 58,000 people attended on Friday of last year’s festival with 70,000 attending the Saturday and Sunday. These numbers were significantly down on previous years.

The announcement has become something of the worst kept secret in Irish music. It now remains to be seen if a succession of concerts in the Phoenix Park on the lines of the festivals in Victoria Park in London will be hosted in Dublin next summer. Among the acts touring next year that could play the Phoenix Park are Coldplay, Lady GaGa, Black Sabbath, The Who and The Beachboys.