Oxegen pushes the play button

Fri, Jul 9, 2010, 01:00

The first full day of the Oxegen is drawing to a close at Punchestown Racecourse in Co Kildare tonight with weather weary fans preparing for Arcade Fire, Jay Z and Groove Armada to take to the festival stage.

The music began at 2pm today with emerging English singer Eliza Doolittle opening the main stage. She was followed by Vampire Weekend, Stereophonics and Plan B over the course of the day.

Doolittle paid tribute to her Irish fans for supporting her fledgling career during her set which featured her songs Mr Medicine, Skinny Genes and Pack Up.

Some 70,000 people are due at the site for the largest festival in the land over the course of the weekend.

Despite the recent sunny weather, Oxegen's long standing relationship with the rain is continuing. About 60,000 festival goers have arrived on site so far, with many attempting to erect tents amid the persistent drizzle.

Met Éireann has issued a weather warning up until tomorrow night. The forecaster said heavier rain will spread across the country tonight, and the outlook for tomorrow and Sunday suggests revellers on site will get good value if they invest in a pair of wellies and a rain coat before or during the three day festival.

AA Roadwatch said traffic enroute to the venue via Blessington was experiencing delays, as were punters approaching on the narrow roads between Punchestown and Naas.

Those travelling to the festival tomorrow are advised to use the park and ride facility at Goffs as space in the red car park was at a premium and the blue car park was now full.

A Garda spokesman said there had been a number of arrests for public order and minor drugs offences at Oxegen. He said officers on site had not encountered any “major incidents” as of last night.

One of the most talked about artists at the festival today is Beyonce, who is not performing but accompanying her partner Jay Z. Also in attendance are members of the Newcastle United squad, who are participating in a training camp at the nearby Carton House.