Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The Oxegen festival has come in for some amount of flak in recent years. Much of this can be put down to the tales of tent-burning and other anti-social behaviour that dominated media coverage, while the rise of the more chilled-out Electric Picnic won the hearts and minds of the 'discerning' music fan (which is a pretty elitist concept, let's face it).

However, MCD deserve some massive credit for the way they've turned things around of late. This year's line-up is, quite simply, sensational: ignoring the usual Kings of RazorSnowKillers suspects, there's Blur's comeback, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Elbow, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Specials, Nine Inch Nails, Mogwai, TV On The Radio, Of Montreal, and Foals. You can talk about drunken kids in GAA shirts all you want, but you just can't argue with quality like that. Although i wouldn't deny the unique spirit and atmosphere of the Electric Picnic, their line-up this year doesn't hold a candle to Oxegen's, and as a music fan, music should be what matters most at a festival. Yet still there seems to be a grudging reluctance on the part of mainstream media outlets to acknowledge what a fantastic line-up it is. I guarantee that if the Electric Picnic had even half of those acts, we wouldn't hear the end of the gushing and fawning. What's more, Oxegen seems to be snapping up the more left-field acts you'd expect to see at the Picnic - Fever Ray being one notable example.

Their have been concerted attempts to make the festival more environmentally friendly, with public transport being encouraged, recycling points dotted around the site, and of course the good old 'eco-cup'. It's also worth pointing out that anti-social incidents dropped considerably last year. Overall, major praise is due. And I for one can't wait for this year's experience to roll around. See you up the front at Nick Cave!

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