Florence brings the love to Oxegen


Florence and the Machine brought the love to a rain soaked Oxegen this evening with a rapturously received set which drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend.

Singer Florence Welch demonstrated the full range of her vocal talents to a crowd of thousands amid a torrential downpour. Her set featured hits Rabbit Heart, Drum Song and a cover of Candi Staton classic You got the Love.

A crowd of some 70,000 has gathered at Punchestown Racecourse in Co Kildare for the festival which is now nearing the close of its second full day.

Veteran English rockers The Stranglers kicked off the proceedings today with a set cherry picked from their extensive back catalogue which featured hits such as Golden Brown and Skin Deep.

Muse, Calvin Harris and the Black Eyed Peas are among the headline acts performing later tonight.

The weather has once again become a major talking point at the festival following two days and one night of persistent rain which appears unlikely to clear until tomorrow.

Met Éireann yesterday issued a weather warning, saying that humid conditions would persist until late tonight. The forecaster expects spells of heavy and possibly thundery rain to affect all areas. Bright and sunny spells are forecast for tomorrow, as are further scattered showers in the morning and early afternoon.

One of the largest crowds of the festival gathered beneath a relentless downpour last night to see the charismatic hip hop superstar Jay Z. The Brooklyn man did not disappoint with a set that featured hits Run This Town, 99 Problems, Big Pimpin and Encore.

Jay Z, who took to the stage some 30 minutes later than scheduled accompanied by rapper Memphis Bleek and his band the Rock Boys, paid tribute to the crowd, which he said was one of the biggest he had ever performed for.

“I really appreciate everybody coming out in the rain. It’s just here to cool us down,” he said.

In a new track, Jay Z made reference to a comment by Noel Gallagher of Oasis who said the rapper was a bad choice to play at Glastonbury last year. “That bloke from Oasis said I couldn’t play guitar, someone should have told them I'm a f***ing rock star,” he said, to a rapturous response.

Meanwhile, those travelling to the event today are advised to use the free park-and-ride facility from Goffs on the M7.

Promoter MCD said the blue car park at the site was full as of last night and that the red car park was almost full. It also said a number of day tickets are still available for tomorrow from the festival box office.

A Garda spokesman said there had been a number of arrests for public order and minor drugs offences but that officers on site had encountered no “major incidents”.