Muck up to your knees, leaking tents, hailstones, rainbows, sunburn and down-right odd behaviour. It wasn't all about the music for the revellers at Oxegen this year, despite the incredible line-up of acts that graced the stages.
The weekend started on a dubious note when the sun made a teasing appearance in the sky on Friday morning and was then quickly replaced by hailstones in the afternoon. Carparks had to be closed, tents already pitched began to sink in the mud and the mood in the air was a mixture of depression and delirium (depending on how long you'd already been at the campsite and whether or not you had to walk several miles uphill, in muck, with your home for the weekend and a lot more besides strapped to your back!).
But somewhere along the way, you got the feeling that if you could survive this on day one then the rest of the festival could only get better, and it did. For one the sunshine made fleeting appearances between the rain clouds but, more importantly, the stellar line-up didn't disappoint. It was a case of running (or dragging your wellies in the muck) between stages in the hope of catching a bit of everything that was on offer. You knew you'd leave regretting that you hadn't seen more of one band or another but that goes with the territory.
To pick a highlight in a festival that boasts an eclectic mix like this is almost impossible. You marvel at the at meticulous attention to detail in Muse's live stage show, are blown away by the energy of The Twang, wear yourself out dancing to colourful performers like Mika and Scissor Sisters and feel like you're being transported to another planet as you gaze at Daft Punk in full flight on day two.
And while you had prayed for clear skies and glorious sunshine all weekend, you begin to feel all the more hardcore with every rainstorm and thunder clap that bluntly interrupts the festivities. It helps too when some of the performers join the madness of it all, most notably Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, who felt the need to strip and lie down in a giant puddle in front of stage, live mic in hand, much to the distress of security personnel.
Later in the day, your perception of diva-like, ego-maniac rock stars is ruined forever when Snow Patrol's humble Gary Lightbody asks the thousands of festival-goers who have joined his band for their set if they wouldn't rather be watching Editors in the Green Room. But rest assured it's reinforced the next day when Razorlight's Johnny Borrell struts around the stage soaking up the adulation that is drifting his way, in true rock 'n' roll style.
You come away feeling that you've had one of the most diverse festival experiences ever, in so many ways. You feel privileged to have joined in the chorus of a deafening Arcade Fire chant, not so privileged when someone tries to urinate on you while listening to Razorlight (I don't think there was a correlation!). You're glad you caught the end of Rufus Wainwright's set if only to hear his tribute to Count John McCormack with his version of 'Macushla', which his Mammy made him learn apparently. You're thankful for the invention of eco-friendly toilets, realising that using them may have been the best money you spent all weekend, considering the conditions. But you worry for human-kind when random strangers wrestle you to ground because you're not quite mucky enough for their liking!
You leave the festival feeling more musically educated than before, having seen some amazing live performances, but also a little weary, having come to the conclusion that muck will bring out the most extraordinary 'human' traits in people of all ages. You'd have to see it to believe it.
Were you at Oxegen '07? What were your highs and lows? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
An Endearing Oxegen Memory...
Calvin Harris in the Green Room Sunday afternoon, just the tonic to pick you up from suffering from the night before. Then the heavens opened to the strains of 'Acceptable in the 80s' and the rain torrentially poured in through a hole in the roof of the tent... the sight of people dancing in the deluge is something that'll stay with me for ever... incredible. On further reflection it was probably the only clean water most of us came in contact with all weekend!! Brilliant weekend. Daragh Mulligan
Queens of the Stone Age
I saw Queens Of The Stone Age on Saturday night at the Green Room and just have to say that they were class! Everyone in the audience was a bit tired and Josh knew that. I think that might have been why the guys didn't play an encore? After all the gig did start at 12 midnight! Overall I was very happy with the experience. I got a guitar pick from one of the roadies (cheers dude!). Look forward to hearing and seeing the guys roll back here soon! Brian Mulhall
For me the highlight was the Gossip especially when the covered
George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' - interesting choice of song but very cool! Of course it had to start raining halfway through their set but to be honest didn't bother me. Was only there for the day so was anxious to catch as much as possible. Other highlights for me were the Kings of Leon and Interpol. Lows for me was missing Muse - am so annoyed with myself! Carol Foster
I thought Oxegen was rough with the camping (freezing, mucky, rough and don't even get me started on the loos). Snow Patrol blasted me away and the Oxegen experience blasted me out of the way. This was my third year going it gets better every year although this year, Oxegen '07, was a lot more aggressive with drunk people and the mud baths. But mainly I met some of the friendliest people in Ireland. Sarah O'Mahony
The Dance Arena
Not usually my preferred type of music was going on here, but I got stuck there most of the weekend. I wanted to see Queens, Editors, The Delorentos and more, but I wound up with Justice, Errol Alkin, Tiga and more. Mainly dry, with wide open spaces the dance arena is less squashed, and some of the dj's were bringing the standard of music to unbelievable heights. My main highlight was quasi resident of Ireland, Chicago techno stalwart - Felix Da Housecat. After a brief hommage to Ireland and the Irish he said he would 'see us again'. He's right. Rory J Craig
Muse gave the best performance over the two days. Killers and Razorlight were very good also. People were singing that Fratellis song all weekend, you know the one. I was happy with all the performers. I was surprised that Avril Lavigne played this type of show but she performed well. The low point was the Bacardi tent barman bottle-tossing when people were waiting for a drink. Paul McCarthy
Snow Patrol & Daft Punk
It was only my second year at the festival, but Snow Patrol and Daft Punk were amazing. When Snow Patrol took to the stage they just blasted every other act away from that day. If you were unlucky enough to be performing at the same time as Snow Patrol then you were just the victim of poor timing, because at one stage during the act I turned around to soak up the atmosphere (not the water on the ground!!!) and I think nearly everyone who went to Oxegen went to see Snow Patrol. And they were justified in going to see Snow Patrol because it was the best performance I have seen from them, and I went to see them in the RDS and Dublin Castle before. Daft Punk also put on a spectacular show. I was going to go see The Killers, but friends advised me to check out Daft Punk and I am glad I did. They just put on a great combined display of music and lights. The weather was not as bad as last year and I have to say we were more prepared this year, but one thing is for sure I will be going back in 2008. Brendan Plant
I have to say it was a brilliant weekend. I saw some unbelievable performances. My favourites over the two days were Babyshamles, Daft Punk, Kings of Leon and Interpol but the best by a country mile was Muse. It was my 6th time seeing them and they did not disapoint - a truly phenomenal live act. My low point was the camping facilities, the lighting was inadequate and there was a noticable absense of security and walk-ways compared to previous years. Roll on next year... Eoghan Carroll
What a weekend
What a weekend - so many highlights but the Editors in the Green Room were amazing. Daft Punk blew everyone out of the water - or mud! The Killers must have been able to hear DF between songs. Speaking of The Killers - what a great show. It was worth getting stuck (literally) in the car park for almost two hours. Three hours sleep and then an 11.15am flight to LA for work was my reward on Monday morning - but when I saw Brandon Flowers coming out of the loo mid-flight, the tiredness left me! And he could hear Daft Punk between songs. Cool guy... Adrian Coyle
Hanging up the Tent!
Def last year at Oxegen, been there every year since it was Witness - I am finally hanging up the tent. Too old for that craic... have to say, personally the muck made it the worst ever year. Are people becoming more aggressive or am I just too old? Wasn't impressed with all those men who felt the need to p*** anywhere they felt like it, never seen so much of that before. Highs were Ocean Colour Scene and Badly Drawn Boy. Was disappointed with the sound at the main stage, and felt all the stages were too close together. Enjoyed the music, hated the muck, and def too old for this lark. Electric Picnic here I come! K McGinnis
Roll on next year...
Oxegen '07... what a weekend!! Queens of the Stone Age were definitley the best, almost cried when they didn't play an encore though. Cold War Kids, CSS and DJ Shadow were brilliant as well but Daft Punk stole the show on Sunday night. The light show was mind-blowing. The whole crowd jumping and singing in unison to Around the World was a brilliant moment! Couldn't believe all the whingers packing up and leaving on Sunday morning though. I mean get over it, its only a bit of muck!! Our tent was partially submerged for the entire weekend and it didn't stop us having the craic! Even falling in the mud wasn't the end of the world, you just had to laugh! Security was pretty bad. Most of them were very unhelpful. Can't wait for Oxegen '08!! Aisling Nic hUrthuile
Even Better Than Oxegen '05!
There I was hoping against hope that the weather would be like it was when I went last time in 2005 and for a while on Friday morning standing on O'Connell Street at 10am, I felt it would... then the rain started. We arrived to a mucky, rainy campsite but it was ok because our tents were already set up thanks to some mates who arrived down early (thanks lads!). We decided we didn't really need good weather; the line up of bands was too amazing. The down side to the weekend was the continuous dance music being repeated at full blast beside our tents from the breakfast room in R7, someone stealing one of our little tents and the thoughts of having to pull on your wellies and trudge through the swamps in the dark to get to a toilet... torture. What got me through it all was the amaing bands we got to see: Jake Penate, The Maccabees, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, Interpol, Queens of the Stoneage, CSS, Bloc Party, The Kooks, Daft Punk and the defining highlight of the year for me was getting to stand in front of the mainstage with all my mates and see the genius that is Arcade Fire - singing along to 'Rebellion (lies)', 'Intervention', 'Black Mirror' and finally finishing up with that ultimate finisher 'Wake Up' with the whole crowd - Wow! That's all I can say. I will definitely be back for Oxegen 08! Louise Callan
Snow Patrol were spectacular on Saturday and my high point of the weekend. I would have enjoyed Razorlight a lot more if there hadn't been a mud fight going on in front of us. Trying to avoid being dragged into that by a group of lads was consuming a lot of my attention! Security should definately have stepped in to break them up. Daft Punk blew me away! Their stage lights were so amazing. Having already seen The Killers at Oxegen '05 I'm really glad I decided on Daft Punk this year. A great weekend in all. Toilets were a disgrace. Far too few for the amount of people there. But that's nothing new! Emily Flynn
Highs and Lows
What a weekend, most of the time I didn't know weather to laugh or cry, got off to a bad start, queueing in Parnell Square for 2 hours in the rain to get on a bus at the top of the queue and watching the worst organisation I've ever seen, when they started pulling buses up in the middle and letting people on. Then the queues to get in to the campsite - Considering the security was so bad I've no idea why it took so long, but our spirits weren't dampened for too long, meeting some great people in the campsite, drinking and having fun with friends all night. Saturday was full of great music as was Sunday. Stand out acts for me were Bloc Party, Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Satellite Party in the Green Room were shockingly good, playing a variety of Jane's Addiction classics & original material & Brian Wilson to top things off. The atmosphere was incredible, all-out great fun, leaving the stage after two encores, the whole crowd in awe of a living legend. Bits of Daft Punk, The Killers and The Bravery were also brilliant. Shame about all the idiots throwing mud etc. Not sure if I'll camp again, but definitely an unforgettable weekend! Brilliant! Mark W
Getting too old...
Getting too old for this craic – it was cold, wet and the majority of people were just there to get as drunk as they could. Tickets being sold out within a few hours and not knowing who was playing would seem a bit odd to many people. Won my ticket in a competition! Off to Lowlands or Pukkelpop Festival in Europe in a few weeks, tickets still available I think. Similar type of line-up. Romantic Oxegen (Witness) is dead and gone, tis with O'Leary in the grave! P O'Leary
Highs: The Arcade Fire was undoubtedly the highlight of my weekend. Every member of the group was singing along, despite not being hooked up to a microphone. It made me realise that they are what a real band is, especially now that most bands such as the Fratellis have given up on music and taken the route of basing every song around a catchy anthem that sounds more like a headache every time I hear it. They really knew how to put on a show, and one drummer/xylophonist/headcase climbed up the side of the stage and started kicking a fellow member- all in time to the music. Absolutely amazing, I'm definitely going to their next Irish appearance.The front man for the Fratellis got a well-deserved orange thrown in his face. Lows: The mud and lack of sleep. Justin Brody