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Oxegen, Poxegen: The Modern Rock and Roll Experience.

category national | arts and media | feature author Wednesday July 19, 2006 01:02author by Pinhead - Shoplifting Gabba Fiends FC | Photos: Pinhead, Riotspace and The Mad Monk Of The West Report this post to the editors

MCD buries bad Vibes over Oxygen 2006

featured image
Security Extinguish Tent Fire
"MCD have buried this, going as far as to close the message boards on their Oxegen subsite but thankfully a Google cache holds some of the threaded information. This has to be a new low? Reports of people being kicked from behind and then laughed at by security when taking a piss outside, random assaults, tents being set on fire and over all incompetence seem to dominate reports of the Sunday." - Pinhead, Indymedia User.

Indymedia users are adding to claims that ugly scenes typifing recent Oxygen festivals were compounded this year by "riot conditions in Camp A on Sunday/Monday night, the towers pulled down, the rampaging drunks, druggies and robbers and assaulters setting light to tents and the undermanned out of control security who tackled both the law breakers and the innocent with equal viciousness. ( 1)" With a rising tide of cynicism directed at MCD's chief, Denis Desmond's claim that "the fans were amazing, incredibly well behaved and good humoured” there are now concerns that MCD shut down the popular forum on its Oxegen site, in an effort to pour water on an organic forest fire of bad publicity in internet land, threatening its lucrative festival brand. Security at the event was contracted to Eventsec who previously faced accusations of incompetence from football fans. Claims from an Oxegen message board handle, eventSecurity, that "anyone that got a dig or rap deserved it" , were retracted as a wind up by the same handle on another board and the Oxegen site. This fake security statement may have contributed to the sites closure.

Despite a rumour mill that MCD has threatened real time media with legal action, the Mirror ran a story with a sensationalist "I Predict A Riot" headline pulled from a Kaiser Chiefs song. In a mainstream media tradition, the paper used an image from more severe crowd disturbances at a recent Leeds Festival to illustrate the Oxegen trouble. In an article romanticising the rock festival experience, SF's Danny Morrison commented how "at Oxegen there was little or no sense of any form of solidarity with the underprivileged or the exploited of this earth." Maybe its worth remembering how, a for once critical NME described a mythologised Feile'95 as "a decaying Gaelic football stadium upon whose pitch several hundred gymnasium crash mats and multifarious rock bands have been unceremoniously dumped, as the promoter sits back and lets the cash roll in." See kids, nothing really has changed. In the festival swamp of concession stands, an uncritical media that slaps the promotions companies on the back for ads while stoking up hysteria around "young people" with the other - its always going to be the fans that loose out.

Links of note on this story: Google caches of removed Oxegen threads critical of the festival and MCD. | Fastfude users discuss ejections from tent at 6:30am in camp A | Boards.ie users discuss the festival | The Other Side - set up to respond to Oxegen site closure From Youtube: Fire in camp and much more footage of bands and randomness by "citizen reporters." | Another one | Thumped forum users discuss a "descent into anarchy."

Worth looking at: IRMA And Piracy: Interview With A Vampire | IRMA Sweeps On File Sharers | The Clampdown on Raves | A Beach Party&Close Encounters of the Garda Kind

Original Article As Submitted

Oxegen, Poxegen: The Modern Rock and Roll Experience

There’s a long standing tradition of music festivals in Ireland, from the Fleadh’s of yore with their bizarre intersection of trad and hippy folk revivalists, to the self organised beauty of the anti-nuclear festivals at Carnsore or the hilarity of a Dylan gig at Slane that broke out in a riot. The most romanticised of recent Irish festivals is the Semple Stadium Feiles, when sprawling night time chaos descended across a quite Irish town leading to jammed Liveline phonelines for about a week after and infuriated auld ones tearing the nation’s youth a new arsehole with verbal condemnation. The tightening of planning legislation around festivals as a result of the chaotic nature of the Feiles led to a tragic respite from the multi-day festival from 1997 onwards. With a generation lacking any similar major rites of passage, the massive Slane one day events reigned supreme and there was always some fucker of a mate’s older brother to regale you with boastful tales of pissing, shitting and shaggin all over Thurles in contrast to the placid state of Slane. But lets see these thirty something suckers dance now cos we've been pissing on ourselves and getting our stomachs pumped at our own Feile - OXEGEN! Or so Denis Desmond's main man Brian ‘Biggie' Spollen would have us believe.

The 80,000 punters that made it to Oxegen last weekend represent a mere indent in the total attendance of festivals and concerts in this country every year. Yet the monstrous blow out of the festival season has become a central point of clash between the various companies dominating the promotions industry here. It really is a case of mine is bigger than yours and you can suck it. Since the first Electric Picnic a sustained challenge has been presented to MCD’s domination of the festival season by Aiken and Pod Concerts. Pod and Aiken have proved themselves an astutely enterprising team in redefining the festival experience in Ireland through stalking new demographics in a successful effort to bring thirty something year olds back to the festival circuit with a combination of clever marketing and the creation of the “boutique festival” concept.

The Boutique Music Festival

The boutique festival entails the provision of quality foods and entertainments beyond the main acts and the traditional punnets of soggy chips drenched in red sauce. The Irish animation company Eyebrowy exploited the far from subtle levels of snobbery associated with the Electric Picnic marketing strategy to launch a series of devastatingly funny fake ads and music television parodies online. Caricaturing the metrosexual tones of the sensitive Southside blokes that make up the Thrills, they extolled how the Electric Picnic was a festival for those answering “yes” to the question of are you “sick of having your tent gate crashed at half two in the morning by Northside scumbags out of their mind on pot?”

“The picnic,” as us young people like to call it, is a festival designed to play into an audience that takes its consumption of the slightly more alternative section of the cultural industry seriously. This is a music listening public that was more likely to have heard Arcade Fire before you last year and wanted to “enjoy the festival the posh way for a change” without the droll presence of those who have yet to discover Pitchforkmedia and think a new football jerseys is dressing up. Astronomical rises in ticket prices, well relayed Witnness urban myths of tents being set on fire, port-a-loos being turned over while in use and random eruptions of drink fuelled violence contributed to a shifting demand from festival goers. Shitnness just wasn't good enough so Aiken and co answered with a template tagged with ideas of comfort, intimacy and a certain quality of punter over quantity.

While offering nothing as exciting as Aiken’s importation of Lost Vagueness from Glastonbury, with its “anarchic and culturally twisted” creation of fringe events outside the main events, the principle of diversifying the festival experience has been copied by MCD. More healthy, veggie and alternative food options such as the festival food franchise the Japanese Noodle Bar make an appearance. The arena gets packed with stalls selling enough condiments and services to spice up your festival options then they add a dash of head shops, some alternative clothing stalls and suddenly you have “the artist and audience’s ultimate musical festival.” One of the cleverer moves by MCD this year was to bring in the Workers’ Beer Company as the "nice face of MCD" to handout free line ups in a further ethical cleansing of their previous extortionate charging of 10 Euro for programmes listing the running times on the various stages. There was also a probably unconnected scattering of petition collectors gathering signatures to “make trade fair.”

The new softened edge around the corporate beast that is Oxegen is only one part of MCD’s new approach. The main challenge to its Aiken and Pod rivals comes in the form of a new addition to the festival circuit here called Hi:Fi. As Jim Carroll pointed out in his Discoteque column, this is an importation of a UK festival brand to these shores much like Creamfields and others before it. Hi:Fi is also going to be held in the grounds of a country house called Belvedere near Mullingar and again is a response to a changing consumer demand answered by the Electric Picnic. As former manager of the Frames Brain Spollen puts it “young people aren’t interested in being pigeon holed into one genre any longer so the line up reads like a playlist where a little bit of everything is good for the soul.” Apart from directly challenging the Electric Picnic, the rest is just marketing, Oxegen after all really is just an extension of the Scottish T in The Park festival with the same acts being ferried from both sites on different days.

The Disco Noone Can Hear and The Great Gazebo Purge of 2006

So how was Oxygen? The tabloids have a method of dealing with such questions. They root deep down around the bottom of a bag of clichés marked “summer festival season” to churn out lines like “even torrential rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of festival goers who danced in the mud to hot stuff from [insert popular band here].” This endless stream of praise for the festival organisers does little to explain the emergence of terms like Shitnness and Poxegen for MCD’s largest annual event. Saying “hello” to a particularly giddy kid I passed in the campsite I was greeted with a “this is great, everyone is so nice – everyone is infected with the spirit of Woodstock” rant. A nice thought but Glastonbury really has forged the frame of reference for festival organisaiton in recent years and that’s been a cold and clinically removal from any trace of the free festival it started as. The general trajectory now is to close off any room for the sort of unpredictability that really spices up a festival and that means a huge level of crowd control.

The silent disco which is another importation from Glastonbury via the Electric Picnic really gives definition to this. Used to provide an official central social space for punters so they don’t get too creative themselves as well as circumventing stringent noise and time regulations tied into the licensing so the cows in the next field can get some rest before the milking. How queuing for well over an hour to slap on a set of shite ear phones with zero bass so some appalling pub DJ can broadcast top forty hits at you could be considered a novelty is beyond me but for many it is. It must be a wacky student thing.

For the first day security went around ordering people to take down gazebos in the campsites. As one security bloke put it to me a real effort was made to close off any alternative social spaces partly due to a near rave in the car park last year and the usual fear of the mob. This great cack handed purge of gazebos had to be called off when it became obvious most people were splashing out 50Eur for them within the actual camp at stalls permitted by MCD. A series of watch towers with spot lights oversaw the campsites, with layers of security surrounding the perimeters. That wonderful habit of local kids who annually exploit their knowledge of the lay of the land to breach the festival boundaries ensured MCD had dogs and security patrolling the perimeters, dogs which barked with all the passion of a rabid street preacher all night long too.

Its amazing how a tiny minority of punters can make you feel as if you are trapped on O’Connell St at 3am on a Saturday night for three days in a row, 24/7 such was the levels of drunken fuckwittery on display. The site looked like a landfill within hours as the organisers provided not a single bin throughout the arena or camp, instead opting to contract in mainly migrant workers to clean up after the Tiger's cubs. The rain and wind devastated the camps on Saturday night - all to be expected.

The Skinny Leg and Converse All Star Brigade

Your musical tastes are your own but Oxegen really captured the popular music zeitgeist this year and I’m not too keen on this recent retro revival. Bill Drummond’s scathing puzzlement of why Pete Doherty “a guy in his early 20’s or whatever he is, would want to play that type of old fashioned music” could equally have been put to ¾ of the line up and fans. I’m sure the skinny leg jeans and Converse All Star brigade were enraptured by whatever it is the the new wave of British rock that dominated the festival has going for it but Primal Scream played “Swastika Eyes” and I was happy. The Go Team blew the roof off the Green room with their jump up soul, swaggering through a set with all the upbeatness of the Sesame Street theme tune on super strenght yokes. Whipping Boy did their anxiety young man routine without the drunken embarrassment that accompanied their pre-Xmas reunion gigs, even throwing in typically McKee metaphorical rant on how the yanks brought coke to Dublin when they pulled in on the USS JFK as the economy tore sky wards. The "rave tent" held out little hope with an appalling line up. Artists like Vitalic and Dave Clarke utterly failed to deliver the goods in an arena and a crowd that looked like it was conjured up by someone designing a rave scene for a didactic drug education short. The mid 1990's thumping four by four, complete with dancing girls on stage lives on. Big box, little box anyone?

The H-Blocks and the Criminalisation of the Yoof

The News Of The World led the drugs hysteria this year with a front page screaming about a coke and pills bust worth 1.5m in Blanchardstown. The big busts of the festival are one story but the reality is a little more mundane if not harsh as hundreds of kids face criminalisation every year for nothing more than carrying enough drugs for personal use into a rock festival and not copping some bogger with a sniffer dog a few metres away. This year the cops seemed especially keen, with round 40 northern fans arrested in searches on 70 buses stopped near Carrickmacross and Castleblaney. Last year over 550 fans were arrested at the festival, usually detained within the grounds of the festival in especially laid aside holding quarters out of the sight of the revellers and given the name the “H-blocks” by festival staff.

One punter who'd worked at previous Oxegens told me how the Gardai regularly use a process of entrapment in going in under cover and offering drugs to kids and then upon receiving a positive response nicking them for it. In a field full of blokes that all look like they could be notching up the frequent flyer points at at Garda off duty haunts like Copperface Jacks, with country accent’s galore and a wardrobe of shoes and shirts the best philosophy can be taken from the X-Files and that's to "trust noone." One mate reported seeing two security men on the Sunday night slash open a tent, pull a knife on some punters, take their coke and tear into it. Security was provided by the northern based Eventsec which have a solid rep in the game, the security bloke mentioned earlier however did describe how shifts were 16 hours long and often pushed to 20 hours which could explain the often prickish nature of festival security.

A-I-K-E-N That Spells AIKEN! Go Business!

In the perpetual critical ducking and diving engaged in by music fans amongst the trenches of the pop culture war, Aiken are accorded with some level of respect for taking on MCD and giving the punters what they want. But their own record is far from clean. Last month they set up a “Kilkenny Express” with Iarnrod Eireann to ferry fans to and from the recent Dylan gig. Tickets were sold exclusively with Ticketmaster for 45 Euro with a 5.95 cover charge, this is double the price of a similar trip during the day. Both corners of the boxing match are also engaged in an equally consistent process of consolidating music venues in Dublin. The Olympia is controlled by MCD. MCD's Denis Desmond also has a holding stake in Abbey Street’s Spirit, a nightclub wrapped in enough therapeutic new age psychobabble for the yuppie weekend party goer to make you gag. A place to “awaken your senses” and “regenerate your mind, body and spirit” its website boost, Spirit takes up the market gap created by the closure of the Temple Theatre in bringing the super club idea to Dublin a decade late. Spirit has now gone on to sell its “sensual yet mystical surroundings” leeching off clichéd images of various indigenous cultures as as a franchise across the globe. Aiken also owns Vicar Street. Meanwhile his festival season partner Reynolds owns the Pod complex, Market Bar and the Globe and looks set to soon open a 1,600 seater right beside it real soon as an effort in boosting the power of his tender for major touring acts.

Same Shite, Same Owners and a Stunted Scene.

Supposed rebels and outsiders made good Phantom Fm exemplify the concentration of interests in the Irish music scene. Recently granted a Dublin license after a few scuffles with Geldof’s Zed fm, the final Phantom consortium was made up of MCD’s Desmond, U2’s management agency and Frank Gleeson. Gleeson owns half of Wexford St, with venues like the Village and Whelan’s under his control. Anyone remembering the glory days of the station as a pirate will recall its sickening symbiotic relationship with Whelans as a main sponsor. This relationship has much to answer for in explaining the relatively stunted music scene in Dublin and can only worsen as it binds itself further to the major players in promotions and venues. Its privileging of bands of the Frames mould over electronica, anything with a harder edge and possibly even non-Whelans based led many bands to pigeon hole themselves to fit its play lists and aesthetic. An aging Hot Press staff could equally stumble along using Whelans and Phantom as a source of new and exciting bands to justify its continued existence. This happy incest led in many ways to the current dominance of the Irish industry by singer song writer stalwarts like Damien Rice, Mundy and second rate Coldplay knockoffs like BellX1. Many cafes in and around the boho trail in town also make exclusive deals with venue conglomerates for the rights to stick up posters advertising gigs leading to a dramatic isolation of independents that can only more recently be combated through the net.

That there is a healthy DIY and smaller promotions circuit in the city, is a testament to the efforts of dozens of individuals across a diversity of scenes. Every city needs a circuit for bands and acts outside of the routine auditioning for the majors that so often is the indie scene sustained in the main venues across this city. On a DIY circuit bands and acts can work at their sound in a community based environment that seeks to sustain itself with out the make or break attitude of bands restricted to playing to an ever increasingly bored audience of their friends, families and maybe one day an A&R man. MCD has been more determined than most to muscle in on the spaces occupied by more independent promoters.

Notoriously in 2001 they booked Canadian hardcore merchants Propagandhi, a band who deliver regular anti-capitalist polemics in their lyrics and included articles by Ward Churchill and William Bloom on an album dedicated to Mumia Abu Jamal. After hordes of Irish punks brought the nature of the booking agent up with the band directly, Propagandhi forced MCD out of the Irish leg of the tour only to be booked by them again under the fake trading name of “Straight.” Once this was brought to light, the lead singer condemned the company from the stage, provided anti-MCD literature at their stall and some local anarcho punks inflicted minor property damage inside the venue. There have also been occasions where MCD has organised punk gigs to clash with local prompters like Toxic in an effort to take away their crowd even at the risk of making a loss all in an effort to force them under.

You. Me. Pitchforks at Dawn.

The underground has been equally capable of mounting challenges to the dominance of the main promotion companies’ festivals in a pisstake, two fingers to the fuckers manner. There was a phenomenon of smaller festivals that purposely clashed with the overground ones a few years ago. A punk festival called Shitnness took the piss out of Witnness and Freefields questioned the commercial nature of Creamfields. As you'd expect there's a bubbling history of other festivals too, Knockrockery was raided by the cops who famously confiscated contraceptive pills at a what was a charity fundraiser, the Warzone and GGI showed the punk scene can pull off its own larger events. But there is also an increased number of smaller yet more ambitious festivals that are gaining visibility despite coming from outside the industry. Morfest was the most visible of these in recent years as a fundraiser for Charleville Castle. Putting on innovative electronica and visual arts before a disagreement with the heritage society running the castle saw it morphing into the more commercial Castlepoolza. An event that has no connections to the original Morganisers. Two upcoming festivals, Leechrum in Leitrim (duh) and Manitua Lives in Roscommon look set to mount a relatively serious challenge to the idea of the boutique music festival in genuinely containing many of the aspects the previous form boosts with quality up and coming line ups and real intimacy.

Across the country people still make trips to fields for raves in the middle of County Nowhere and find themselves walking away from all signs of public transport for three hours come twelve o'clock the next morning. A nostalgia trip which on the back of reports seems to attract dwindling numbers every summer. With less and less sound systems on the go, the isolation facing the remaining ones become tantamount to a fear of organisation and action as the support that is necessary to carry off the party is solely lacking. And anyway, if people are no longer awed by the prospects of drinking out doors instead of being stuck in cack handed nightclubs across Dublin or are thrilled at the cuntish prospects of listening to the Velvet Underground tradition being mutilated by a slew of NME sponsored white boys on guitar - then do you see any reason for there to be a fertile out door party scene? Nope me neither but for some reason this season has been better than most. Crews like Tir na gCasta have been pulling parties together in Cork and Undertracks have been doing the business out in Donabate amidst local media hysterics and some vaunted reportage in Totally Dublin that will ensure the one organised for last night may will have been the biggest in a while. I hope you didn’t forget your waterproofs.

Charming a lift off the festival stewards
Charming a lift off the festival stewards

Hip Hop:  MC of the break offs in the Red Bull Tent
Hip Hop: MC of the break offs in the Red Bull Tent

Wind, Rain and Floating Tents
Wind, Rain and Floating Tents

Some Very Drunk Crowd Randomers
Some Very Drunk Crowd Randomers

Crowd During Silent Disco
Crowd During Silent Disco

author by Pinhead, The Mad Monk Of The West and Riospacepublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here ywe go again

In, Out, In, Out
In, Out, In, Out

We Call This Disco Music
We Call This Disco Music

Ya! This One Is Called Come On Eileen.
Ya! This One Is Called Come On Eileen.

Sign up sign up, to my lovely festival shirt
Sign up sign up, to my lovely festival shirt

The Eternal Queues For Food
The Eternal Queues For Food

author by Pinhead, Riotspace and the Mad Monkpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 09:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here we go again

Get set, ready...
Get set, ready...


Suspected  Social Space/Cover For Mob Action
Suspected Social Space/Cover For Mob Action

No Ice Cream Today Then Love?
No Ice Cream Today Then Love?

Oxegen People.
Oxegen People.

author by Pinhead, Riotspace and The Mad Monk of The Westpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 09:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

gee whiz

Young people preparing to get rightly messed up
Young people preparing to get rightly messed up

Wait'll ya see my eyes after this matey..spacehead..spacehead..
Wait'll ya see my eyes after this matey..spacehead..spacehead..

Queue for silent disco
Queue for silent disco

Stoned types listening to Sigur Ros
Stoned types listening to Sigur Ros

Litter Litter Everywhere
Litter Litter Everywhere

author by Pinhead, Riotspace and The Madmonk of the westpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 09:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

here we go

Surveying the Poxegen Wasteland
Surveying the Poxegen Wasteland

Yes, I was confused too ?!?!
Yes, I was confused too ?!?!

Thems there  Japanesse Noodles are world famous
Thems there Japanesse Noodles are world famous

Graf Culture:  Omin does his thing
Graf Culture: Omin does his thing

Tag me:  Spraypaint, helps your skin breath and keeping you feeling fresh.
Tag me: Spraypaint, helps your skin breath and keeping you feeling fresh.

author by Michael Gallagher - music fanpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 16:25author email libertypix at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello...Pinny....a simple question. Are u for or against these music festivals? I don't have time right now to read yur yur...watever... Or are u just another one of those that likes to hear the sound of your own keyboard? If so,,,the Pinnys in the kitchen...over the kitchen sink.
Not bad pics.
Rock and roll on Humanzi!!!!

Related Link: http://www.myspace.com/humanzi
author by fellowwriterpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 16:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

don't mention the near riot conditions in Camp A on Sunday Monday night, the towers pulld down the rampaging drunks, druggies and robbers and assaulters setting light to tents and the undermanned out of control security who tackled both the law breakers and the innocent with equal viciousness. Apparently you might get sued if you print it MCD have busy all week getting rid of the evidence as they did last year.

http://img104.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=43552_mirror...o.jpg So yes The Mirror did do a story but all the photos posted/linked on the Oxygen have been removed.

author by colinpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The large DIY punk festival you mention is called GGI not CGI and rotates between Ireland, Holland and Scotland, it's on 15,16,17 Sept in Edinburgh this year and will return to ireland next year.

author by Pinheadpublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 18:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Myself and the mates left rather hurriedly on the Sunday evening as we'd had enough. The Chilli Peppers were still playing but we couldn't be arsed with them so pegged it and never heard of these "riots" till now. We were over in campsite B which from the outset looked like a hell of a better set up than A. A even as early as Friday evening was the scene of negative relations between the security and fans with punters being forced into pitching in cramped sections while other ones remained empty, this led to a charge against security early on the friday with people running the cordons to set up where ever they wanted Absolutely no surprise that the place had the potential to go off like that

I'd be on a fair few music sites but didn't come across reports at all, until you mentioned it prompted some googling. Some one on Fastfude described how "My mate asked why we had to leave at 6.30am and a security guy replied by telling him that if he saw his face again he was gonna beat him up. *" And you're right MCD have buried this, going as far as to close the message boards on their Oxegen subsite but thankfully a google cache holds some of the threaded information. This has to be a new low? Reports of people being kicked from behind and then laughed at by security when taking a piss outside, random assaults, tents being set on fire and over all incompetence seem to dominate reports of the Sunday.

Michael - its not a question of wheter I'm for or against festivals. They aren't political parties or policies you can vote against but experiences which are heavily romantacised by both the press and the organisers. Nothing is ever really said about the experiences of punters who are presented as an inane smiling mass of happy out consumers. But years of bubbling disaffection with the experience of being herded around a field by businesses intent on a quick buck has led to some rather sharp changes in how festivals are presented. But the motives of the organisers and the festival content hasn't changed beyond a few aesthetic fine tunings.

*Taken from http://www.fastfude.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12494&st...0800f

Cache Oxegen Threads -

A video of security looking on as situation spirals:

IMPORTANT - Campsite Assault/Riot INFO:

Campsite A 12! Riots:

I predict a riot.
I predict a riot.

"riot" in campsite A
"riot" in campsite A

author by Kasier Sosepublication date Sun Jul 16, 2006 20:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Plenty of pissed off kids over on boards.ie


author by liam donohoepublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play. I wouldn't bother me arse going to Oxegen to be honest - even if I was playing there meselF! The last big gigs I was at were U2 in Slane and Croke Park ( I got the last ticket for free - otherwise wouldn't have gone) and what was amazing to me was how well-off middle-class music fans are still royally taking it up the ass after all these years.

You're also pretty much on the money in every respect about Dublin music "scene".

I'm surprised you didn't have a go at TBMC as well - unbelievable the kind of shit that goes down there if you're a band or artist trying to put on a show in a publicly-funded (to the best of my knowledge) space

There are lots of decent promoters and venues out there however.

I don't know much about the punk or rave scene but it seems well catered for with Toxic, venues like Voodoo lounge, and all the underground dance stuff which still goes on.

On the folk end of things you have people like Paul Lee in the cobblestone,and Angela Dorgan seems to be doing a great job for DIY rock bands generally in the FMC. There are lots of real great people working on the jazz scene also. The key really would be for the Govt to introduce some sort of enforcable employment contract or a special status for musicians in terms of tax etc. - not just for creative musicians but for cover artists too. This would take people out of the unprofessional undeclared loop they're in at the moment and improve standards and conditions for players and public alike.

author by lurkerpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 03:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Legal threats flying. Oxegen / MCD don't like criticism it seems.

Related Link: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054963307
author by Sniff Sniffpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 03:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The MCD hoover must be on over drive. Threads on Boards.ie linked to in the above feature are the latest part of the net to pull a disappearing act. A site user reports how "Arthur Cox have written to us stating they have instructions to join us in the proceedings they will be issuing against independent newspapers and some named individuals, if we do not remove the Thread." Arthur Cox have worked with MCD before on investigations before the Competition Authority.

Explanation of deletion: http://boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054963307
Still appearing in the search engine: http://boards.ie/vbulletin/searchbt.php?search=oxegen+s...der=1
A google cache of it:
The Other Side (a splinter site set up as a result of Oxegen board closure) on the Sunday Mirror article: http://www.h3lx.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36
Arthur Cox: http://www.arthurcox.com/practice/view_practice.asp?Id=9
Competition Authority investigates complaints from 1,000s on realtionship between Ticketmaster, MCD and Aiken : http://www.tca.ie/decisions/enforcement/e_06_001.pdf

author by correctpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 04:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

eventSecurity is just a forum joker don't be silly and print quotes from him like the Mirror did. retract that falsehood leave the rest of the actual events.

author by Relaypublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It says "Claims from an Oxegen message board handle, eventSecurity, that "anyone that got a dig or rap deserved it" , were retracted as a wind up by the same handle on another board and the Oxegen site. This fake security statement may have contributed to the sites closure."

author by Donalpublication date Wed Jul 19, 2006 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I stopped going to Oxegen in the past 2 years (though have attended for short periods in 2004 and 2005). The whole event is overdone commercialism and the atmosphere found at other festivals worldwide is far superior from what I've witnessed.

Some things that are worth mentioning:
- It rains in Ireland. However MCD took 3-4 years to realise this fact and take precuations like having hay / plastic paths laid in advance. Bad planning resulted in a half-day of acts being cancelled in 2002 (i think).
- Guest list organisation has been pathetic every year I've been on one. Queuing for 3-4 hours (and missing half a day of acts) is just idiotic.
- Respect for music fans is non-existant.
- Information points were badly maintened and never had up-to-date information.
- Security is heavy handed and not effective on so many occasions.
- Camping conditions are abismal.
- Overally drunk people have ruined the festival every year bar the first Witnness in 2001 (public urination, abusive behaviour, idiots with no respect for anyone).

MCD are taking adavtantage of a music loving nation and screwing them for value-for-money, quality and a good time. Oxegen wouldn't exist, if MCD weren't making a fortune from it. Maybe if they spent some money on providing a festival that attracted people who were there for the music (instead of getting drunk, sunburned and making pricks out of themselves).

author by Sniff Sniffpublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 02:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Boards.ie stops discussion on MCD/Oxegen: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054963732

author by Gerripublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 03:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm just gonna echo what most posters have already said and reiterate:

The organisers of Poxegen have no respect for patrons, this is shown in the ineffective and heavy handed security, the Abysmal camping facilities and the insufficient provision of toilets.

Despite this, the last time I went, think it was 04 I had a good time, despite the level of facilities festival goers to Glastonbury or Europe take for granted. I said I would never again go when sleeping in the tent that night it was necessary to travel for miles to reach a toilet.

There was a letter into the Irish Times in recent days from a person who had gone to the most recent Poxegen and high prices were cited as the primary reason he would never go again - apparently 11 euro for a burger and chips!!!

Definitely think it is time that consumers voted with their feet and stopped patronizing MCD gigs. The only other place that has left a similar impression to the Poxegen one is gigs in the Point Theatre where you aren't allowed bring your (expensive) drink with you and sometimes get searched on the way in! And the whole gig is over at 11 o'clock...pathetic. Come to think of it, those were MCD gigs

author by Davepublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By all the accounts I've read on this page no one seemed to enjoy themselves at Oxygen this time round. Because they didn't like the line up, the crowd, queues for food/drink etc.. All the reasons mentioned both by me and in the above articles are things you were aware off before you brought your tickets.
I put it to you all and anyone reading this comment: if you don't like the festival don't go, its as simple as that.
I grant the authors of the articles the line up was very mainstream but the new band tent was good and some of the "mainstream" arts were excellent for instance James Brown, Damien Marley etc. As far as queues for food and drink are concerned I waited for no more than 10 minutes at any time for either.
People writing about "The Skinny Leg and Converse All Star Brigade" and "Northside scumbags out of their mind on pot" should be utterly ignored for the ignorant people they are, who are you to judge what makes you such a sigficantly better human being. These are class issues and should not be used to generalize vast masses of people into your own ignorant snobby little precast ideas of the structure of society. Its a music festival keep it simple.

author by Pinheadpublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are dead right, there are class issues associated with a lot of the current discussion in and around music festivals. In the article above I mention 'the far from subtle levels of snobbery' associated with the EP marketing strategy and I use qoutes on 'northside scumbags' directly from an Eyebrowy production to illustrate this*. This animation was originally done independently of Aiken et al but then used by them on their site as a promotional gimmick.

The various music bulliten boards are equally rife with such discussion with many people expressing a hope that HiFi will distract all the 'knackers' so Electric Picnic can retain its class purity. Considering this and your own obseverations and pin pointing of me as 'ignorant' - I find it amazing you can then move on to insist its just a 'music festival keep it simple.' When as I point out there's nothing simple about the manipulation of class prejudice for branding purposes, poor security, bullying tactics applied to critics and a market domination that undermines independents.


author by Michael Gallagher - Residenta Against Racismpublication date Thu Jul 20, 2006 17:50author email libertypics at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

So it seems we have come full circle from the early headybanger days of Lisloonyvarna.....from bearded bouncing baby hells angels, to more untrained earbashers yodelling "we are the men in yellow!!"

I'm sure we all realise by now, that the sharks and their machinery are out for one thing and one thing only...your hard earned or signed on for cash! If they could get away with charging for nose pickin and v.a.t. on arse whippin and wipin...believe me they wud try it on.

Having said that, some of the musicians that played there are legends, -you know who they are- and it's not often you get to see legends in the flesh, but these venues are over priced. Apart from the fact that the organisers will go to as little expense as posssible on the neccessities, -employing properly trained security staff being one- they will always try and get as much profilt out of the 'event' as possible as long as the punter is prepared to put up with it.
Even some of the newer bands trying to break through are treated very shabbily, one example -and I won't mention the bands in question- one band was paid €50 each (€200) for their slot, stuck in a corner and told to share a crate of beer with three other bands for their efforts. That happened at the Trinity Ball last year. Now if you do your sums, you might be shocked -as I wasn't- at the greed of these promoters.

I have been the organisor of RAR annual 'Rock Against Racism' since its inception five years ago. We have been treated very well by certain venue owers/managers, giving or offering venues such as Voodoo Lounge, The LIving Room, TBMC and Eamonn Doran's. Bands thata have played for us include Mainline, Listo (now Humanzi), The Things, Mick Pyro (Republic of Loose) and Q (Colm Querney) among others...all free of charge. Now I would be the last one to defend Dermot 'cheap toilet labour' Doran, but their is a lot of goodwill out there.
One way bands can react to the exploitation is to get organised. Now their is a musicians union, but that has been singing from the same blank hyme sheet for years. Music lovers can respond by writing to the mainstream media in droves and complain and complian again...even to the consumer rights association.
Watch out for this years 'Rock Againt Racism', which we hope to have in September...the ideal way to get you back into the education groove. And also u will all consider giving you spare cash to some of the new bands that spring up yearly all over Dublin. Their is a lot of very talented unsigned musicians in this country. They need your encouragement and support.

author by nonepublication date Sat Jul 22, 2006 23:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a different page of oxegen censored board appears in google fwiw



Download UK
Police riot charging one wandering person, security act hard whens it all over, simply beating people waiting to leave not those who did damage, sounds familiar


author by Reggie Sidepublication date Mon Jul 24, 2006 18:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"dealing with simple values that most people can actually conceptualise and understand"
I think most people can understand being fleeced financially, 'conceptualise' being ordered around by some ego tripping security guards, having their tents set on fire etc.. It's hardly some abstract academic piece on the potential counter-hegemonic power of carnivals like Rabelais and His World or anything.

author by No_Agendapublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 01:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MCD have gone over the top in attempting to block discussion online about the recent Oxegen festival. Oxegen still remains the largest festival in Ireland and very well run on all accounts. It's a mass market youth festival and is nothing other than that. Despite what the critics might say 70,000 came, saw and went without incident. So where's the problem? It's simple ... it's the Irish music fan. Pissed up they make life miserable for everyone and that's what Oxegen means for most of those who attend ...how pissed up will I get and the drunker I am the better it is. I don't know how many people I overheard in pubs before the festival saying " ...and oh yeah everyone burns their tents afterwards". Seems now it's during the festival with people in them but hey were drunk and having fun. All security have to do is contain these people as it's impossible to police them.

So MCD are right to protect their good name albeit a tad over the top. The Mirror story was clearly made up ... one photo had a road sign in the background with a rehashed photo from the leeds festival. The internet boards got the lash as journalists were using them to try and dig up something to get a story. MCD can't be blamed for the appalling behaviour of Irish fans.

As for the critique of MCD's behaviour in regard to booking bands etc. ... show me one part of the music industry that isn't a ruthless dog-eatdog.

author by mcdwatch.org - mcdwatch.orgpublication date Thu Aug 03, 2006 21:28author email forum at mcdwatch dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have an opinion on Oxygen, Hi:Fi or other events then visit http://www.mcdwatch.org to share it!

Openly looking for volunteering ops, admins.. moderators etc.. get in touch forum@mcdwatch.org



"Bring it on MCD"

author by Maggotfacepublication date Tue Aug 15, 2006 15:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seems MCD are actually going after Boards.ie over criticism of Oxegen that appeared on their website. Boards.ie is apparently Ireland's 18th biggest website, and definitely the country's most popular discussion forum.

Boards being sued: http://www.thumped.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=39586
Will the new defamation bill cover the net? http://www.digitalrights.ie/2006/04/13/defamation-bill-...eeds/
Sunday Timeshttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2091-2310469.html
Boards.ie blog owner post on MCDhttp://www.johnbreslin.com/blog/2006/07/27/website-is-c...2006/

author by winniebago - ancient order of yogurt weaverspublication date Mon Jul 09, 2007 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

surely the experiences of the ticket paying punters at oxegen deserve to be heard not bullied out of sight by big bosses and business,I,for one,would like to hear what really happened and what the disgruntled punters have to say,They are probably the people who have the most understanding of what needs to change at oxegen,if the security really are as brutal and uncaring about the needs of the ticket holders maybe no licence should be issued for further oxegen festivals unless 1.the organisers take more care of their punters and2.a more honest security firm is used.Something is obviously trying to be concealed by the threatening of sueing...where is it still possible to read what people want to say on the internet?

author by JohnnyTpublication date Thu Jun 19, 2008 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Following the closure of the message board at the oxegen site a new one has been opened at www.oxegenforum.com

Related Link: http://www.oxegenforum.com
author by Fernando Perigolopublication date Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:14author email fernandoperigolo at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

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Please Pinhead, contact me via email fernandoperigolo@gmail.com or via facebook, u can find me searching by Fernando Perigolo.

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