Belfast Telegraph

In Pictures: Jay-Z and Vampire Weekend rock Oxegen

They have been a constant soundtrack to the World Cup and now the droning sound of the ubiquitous vuvuzela is threatening to drown out the Oxegen festival.

For the estimated 35,000 people who slept in the campsites at Punchestown last night and Thursday night, it was as if Cape Town had come to Kildare.

The unmistakable cacophony of the metre-long vuvuzela horn, which can reach 135 decibels, is on sale at Oxegen this year for €10.

“We didn't get a minute of sleep. The vuvuzelas were going all night. We can't get the sound of them out of our heads this morning,” said Chris McBeth (18) from Co Down who was camping with his girlfriend Nuala Gaffney (18) from Letterkenny.

“I bought my vuvuzela on a stall up here. It's my revenge for having to listen to them all the way though the World Cup,” said Corkman Ryan Pettit-Mee (20).

Despite the din, the first full day of the Oxegen music festival took place at Punchestown, Co Kildare, yesterday with sets from Arcade Fire, Jay- Z and Groove Armada.

A further 30,000 fans had descended on Punchestown with AA Roadwatch saying no major delays had been reported and that traffic was moving well on the M7 Limerick/Dublin and the N81 Dublin/Tullow routes. Unfortunately for revellers the festival was hit by intermittent rain throughout the day.

But not everybody was unhappy. “We brought 1,500 Oxegen Wellington boots and sold all of them at €25. The problem is that we've exhausted our whole stock and don't have any more wellies to sell,” said Becky Bullen, in charge off clothes stall Joe Bananas.

In contrast with previous years, when heavy downpours left Punchestown a muddy mess, rain this year was less of a problem with more than €1.5m spent in recent years putting in permanent and temporary roadways.

For the celebrity spotters, there were reports that Beyonce, wife of Friday's headline performer Jay-Z, was spotted in a Centra in Naas.

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