Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Coming up for air

I read an interesting blog on Muse.ie where Steve Cummins talks about the relationship between Irelands two premier music festivals Oxegen and Electric Picnic. He suggests the fact the Oxegen has in a sense become the new Courtown, populated by headline-act loving, Funderland junky campsite craving head-the-balls who are there for the fun rather than the music. He's dead right of course. I was there last year, as the tension crept in over the windy racecourse. There were very few people there for the actual music.

But it's a good thing. Slane is obviously very selective and only rarely can we rely on to it to free our towns and cities of Skobies. Oxegen does this without fuss, and does it for 3 wonderful nights. The great thing is that you can go to EP too and that'll give you another 3 wonderful skob-free evenings.

Possibly because Indie has now come full circle again, we can justify having these two festivals. It's no longer in the mainstream as much as it was 2 or 3 years ago. Fratellis are not Indie. Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol and Muse. Not indie. The distinction is there now, and despite Interpol and Arcade Fire, I think I can handle it. It's a credit I'm sure that this festival (EP) can exist. I do understand it is a commercial exercise, but so is going to work in the morning. Where Oxegen piles them and let's them burn things, EP has has created a real atmosphere. Camper Vans, Wigwams, Circuses, toilets that won't re-introduce TB, lenient BYOB policy, space to walk, lie down, sleep. It's limited capacity, which understandably would result in less income to attract the bigger acts, adds more of a communal feel. It's at a major disadvantage when it comes to this as Oxegens sister status with festivals in England, allowing it to block book bands for both. But yet again, this cloud has a silver lining. EP will never have RHCP or Coldplay and that's the way it should be.

So, to wrap it up I though I'd pick out who to go see and who to avoid

Go See:
Electric Picnic


David Charles Byrne 2007