Oxegen // was a music festival in Ireland, first held from 2004–2011 as a rock and pop festival and again in 2013 with dance and chart acts only. The event was regularly cited as Ireland's biggest music festival, and, by 2009, it was being cited as the greenest festival, being a 100% carbon neutral event in Ireland. although this claim is highly disputed as green-washing. It was previously called Witnness, which ran from 2000 and was sponsored by Guinness. The event is promoted by MCD and is sponsored by Heineken. Oxegen was originally a three-day festival, but from 2008 onwards, it was expanded to four days.
|Location(s)||Punchestown Racecourse, County Kildare, Ireland|
|Years active||2004–2011; 2013|
It took place at the Punchestown Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland and has an average attendance of around 60,000 a day, with around 50,000 of these camping on site for the duration, and the rest travelling to the site each day. It takes place on the same weekend as T in the Park in Scotland and shares a very similar lineup each year, but Oxegen is generally regarded as Ireland's version of the Glastonbury Festival, with the 2008 festival sharing three of the same headliners as its English counterpart.
Oxegen has attracted significant attention from outside Ireland, with many of those attending travelling from overseas experiencing a "mass exodus" to the festival. Members of bands such as The Killers, Snow Patrol and R.E.M. have spoken positively of their experiences at the festival. Celebrities frequently attend, including models Helena Christensen (a regular attendant) and television personality Chris Pontius, actor Josh Hartnett, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones, who was pursued by "half the journalists in the country" and many of his own relatives for much of the 2008 festival. The event has also attracted some negative publicity, particularly following the 2006 festival. This is attributed to such factors as the age of admission (17) and easy access to alcohol.
Oxegen, for two consecutive years, was named as the Best European Festival in a poll which included festivals from France, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and other countries, leading The Sunday Business Post's Nicola Cooke to describe it as "one of the most successful music festivals in Ireland has [sic]". Leagues O'Toole has described it as an "enormously successful, award-winning, established brand [...] aimed at a young audience out for a good time, a post-Leaving Cert rite of passage perfect for acts with big singalong tunes that sound great in the mud". Oxegen received a mention in the Colum McCann short story "Aisling".