Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

World exclusive: Enya to play Oxegen. And other festival tittle-tattle

But seriously folks…. All is very quiet on the Oxegen front at the moment. It’s usually around this time that the first names begin to appear for the festival but we’re at a loss to figure out who might be …

Wed, Jan 28, 2009, 14:18

   

But seriously folks….

All is very quiet on the Oxegen front at the moment. It’s usually around this time that the first names begin to appear for the festival but we’re at a loss to figure out who might be on the bill this year worth skipping Bruce in the RDS to go see. I mean, another year with the Kings Of Leon at the top of the bill? If anyone can explain to me why those momentously dull, boring and risible charlatans are so big in Ireland, I’ll happily send them a copy of their new album. Or even two copies. And, as Una notes, Oxegen are also planning a four day wham-bam-thank-you-mam shebang in July. Four days at Punchestown? Ye gods!

It will, though, be a quiet summer on the festival front. I’ve heard a lot of rumblings over the last few days that a number of the smaller fests, the interesting ones which pushed last year’s final tally over 70, will not be happening in 2009 due to all manner of reasons (I’m not naming these fests simply because there is a chance they might stil go ahead). While there has been a lot of online and offline chatter about the Electric Picnic, these rumours were categorically denied by the festival organisers and I’m taking their word on that. I understand also that a number of acts have already been booked for this year’s Picnic.

Add in the fact that there are less and less shows happening in general this year – it may be January but some Dublin venues have been much, much quieter than in previous years – and it looks like the live music sector is in a bit of a pickle.

As we’ve seen again and again over the last 12 months, life is sweet if you’re Chris Brown, AC/DC or Beyonce but it’s another case entirely if you’re not yet at the 02 level. I’m sure too that some of the bigger landfill-indie acts who have reached that level, acts like Keane and Kaiser Chiefs, both of whom are currently touring with big, expensive productions and crews, are relying heavily on record label support to keep the wheels on the tour buses going round and round. Indeed, many mid-level acts and their agents took the decision late last year to sit things out until May and wait for the summer festival circuit to crank up again. Whether that circuit will be as lucrative for them as in previous years remains to be seen. Interesting times ahead.

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