Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Guest post – Joey Cullen-Tinley – Oxegen’s 180 degree turn

The view on Oxegen’s line-up from one of those teens who is supposed to be the festival’s target audience.

Mon, Apr 29, 2013, 14:00


<Nearly everyone has had their say about the Oxegen pop and dance line-up, but what do those teenagers who are festival’s new target audience reckon to the change? Here are work experience student Joey Cullen-Tinley’s thoughts>

One thing stands out above all about this year’s Oxegen line-up: the lack of variety. It may look to you as if this year’s festival is aimed solely at young people, but the organisers have underestimated the youth’s musical palette with this decision. The ongoing backlash has proven that when you paint teenagers with the same musical brush, they don’t like it.

Comments have been pouring in on the Oxegen facebook page and it appears that nobody is satisfied with the lineup this year. My favourite comment so far is “I’d have sooner parted with €150 to stand in a field on my own for the weekend than go to that pish”. In fact, the comments are far more interesting than the line-up itself.

A few years ago, Oxegen was seen as a rite of passage, a place to experience what some people thought adulthood was about for the first time. When I was younger, Oxegen was first on the list of musical festivals to attend when you grew up. Now, as I’m nearing that age, I find that neither me nor my friends have any interest in Oxegen. For us, Glastonbury has become the place to go for that experience.

Comparing this year’s line-up to past line-ups is a bit of a joke. Fans of Foo Fighters may well be embarrassed, as we’ve seen from comments, at the thought of their favourite band having once played a festival which now features Rizzle Kicks. But it’s not like previous years were all rock either and this is where the organisers have fallen short in 2013. It remains to be seen how tickets sales go, but I can’t see it being a huge success, judging by the reaction they’ve received to what’s on the bill so far.

As me and my teenage peers are too young to attend the festival and are not caught up in the hype about going, we are able to step back and really see how awful it all is. I haven’t even heard of most of the acts, which means my mates will definitely not have heard of them.

In the midst of all this, the lineup for the Electric Picnic was announced last week – and nobody seems to be complaining about that. My older friends are far more excited about the Picnic line-up, especially because there’s a mix and match of stuff and not just music. Oxegen’s change in direction brings a silver lining, then. In the past, people had to make a decision between the two big festivals; this year, it’s an easy call to make.