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Ulster invasion at Oxegen festival in Kildare

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Festival goers begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Festival goers begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Niall Carson

A group of students from Sacred Heart Secondary school in Newry pose for photographs in the camp site of the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

A group of students from Sacred Heart Secondary school in Newry pose for photographs in the camp site of the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Niall Carson

Irish Rugby internationals Cian Healy (centre left) and Jamie Heaslip (centre right), who took part in a charity cycle in aid of the Christina Noble Foundation, arrive at the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Irish Rugby internationals Cian Healy (centre left) and Jamie Heaslip (centre right), who took part in a charity cycle in aid of the Christina Noble Foundation, arrive at the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Niall Carson

A festival goer carries her belongings in a wheelie bin as music fans begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

A festival goer carries her belongings in a wheelie bin as music fans begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Niall Carson

Festival goers begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Festival goers begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Niall Carson

Katy Naughten and Rachel Stuart from Clontarf arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Katy Naughten and Rachel Stuart from Clontarf arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Aoife Gordon from Co.Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Aoife Gordon from Co.Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Alicia Gerrard from Gorey, Co.Wexford arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Alicia Gerrard from Gorey, Co.Wexford arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sarah McCarthy from Cork (center) arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sarah McCarthy from Cork (center) arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Shauna Hayes, Jennifer O'Connor and Niamh Harrington all from Cork   arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Shauna Hayes, Jennifer O'Connor and Niamh Harrington all from Cork arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rebecca Gubbins and Rachel O'Keeffe from Tipperary at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rebecca Gubbins and Rachel O'Keeffe from Tipperary at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Orla Enchian, John Sweeney, Breff Purcell, James Tynan, Paul McCarthy, Mary Sweeney, Michelle Sweeney, all from Tipperary arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Orla Enchian, John Sweeney, Breff Purcell, James Tynan, Paul McCarthy, Mary Sweeney, Michelle Sweeney, all from Tipperary arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Michelle O'Toole and Alice Stoneman from Waterford arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Michelle O'Toole and Alice Stoneman from Waterford arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Katie Bryce and Aimee Norton from Belfast arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Katie Bryce and Aimee Norton from Belfast arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Concert goers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Concert goers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Irish Rugby Internationals Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip who were part of a thirty strong group who cycled to OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Irish Rugby Internationals Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip who were part of a thirty strong group who cycled to OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Niamh Gormley with Emma McConomy and Aisling Moore from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Niamh Gormley with Emma McConomy and Aisling Moore from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Catherine Hanna, Shauna Connolly and Marie Stitt all from Co.Down at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Catherine Hanna, Shauna Connolly and Marie Stitt all from Co.Down at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Laura O'Donnell, Carol Ann Benham with Bronagh Quigley and Ashleigh Brandon from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Laura O'Donnell, Carol Ann Benham with Bronagh Quigley and Ashleigh Brandon from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty, Julie McDwyer with Catherine Gaffney and Shane Kelleher from Cork at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty, Julie McDwyer with Catherine Gaffney and Shane Kelleher from Cork at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

A Happy Camper arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

A Happy Camper arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty from Letterkenny at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty from Letterkenny at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sally O'Reilly and Maggie Foley from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sally O'Reilly and Maggie Foley from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

A Camper arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

A Camper arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rebecca Harkin, Natasha McMonigle and Dearbhla Martin from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rebecca Harkin, Natasha McMonigle and Dearbhla Martin from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Grail Mageean, Aoife Gordon, Ellen Grant (Belfast) and Catherine Hanna from Co.Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Grail Mageean, Aoife Gordon, Ellen Grant (Belfast) and Catherine Hanna from Co.Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rachel Gallagher from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Rachel Gallagher from Londonderry at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Kellie Page and Erin Connor from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Kellie Page and Erin Connor from Londonderry arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Leah Healy, Saidbh O'Connell, Ann Byrne and Patti O'Keeffe all from Co Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Leah Healy, Saidbh O'Connell, Ann Byrne and Patti O'Keeffe all from Co Down arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Jane O'Mahoney and Edwina Neville from Cork arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Jane O'Mahoney and Edwina Neville from Cork arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty and Catherine Gaffney from Letterkenny at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Andrea Doherty and Catherine Gaffney from Letterkenny at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Local Scouts from Naas helping Campers with their Tents at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Local Scouts from Naas helping Campers with their Tents at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sarah Cronin, Molly Reid and Georgina Forde all from Galway arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Sarah Cronin, Molly Reid and Georgina Forde all from Galway arriving at OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

OXEGEN 10 in Punchestown

Happy Campers. Laura O'Donnell, Carol Ann Benham, Bronagh Quigley and Ashleigh Brandon all from Londonderry join other early morning music fans as they arrive at the Oxegen music Festival.

Happy Campers. Laura O'Donnell, Carol Ann Benham, Bronagh Quigley and Ashleigh Brandon all from Londonderry join other early morning music fans as they arrive at the Oxegen music Festival.

<b>FLASHBACK...images from Oxegen 2009<b/>
Lady GaGa, live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009  </b>

<b>FLASHBACK...images from Oxegen 2009<b/> Lady GaGa, live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009 </b>

&quot;Lady GaGa&quot;, live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009

"Lady GaGa", live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009

Liam McBurney

&quot;Lady GaGa&quot;, live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009

"Lady GaGa", live on stage on Oxegen Music Festival 2009

Liam McBurney

Lady Gaga performs at Oxegen 09

Lady Gaga performs at Oxegen 09

Derry girl Emma Frisby showing that the rain won't stop her from having a good time

Derry girl Emma Frisby showing that the rain won't stop her from having a good time

Liam McBurney

Katy Perry live on stage at Oxegen Music Festival 2009

Katy Perry live on stage at Oxegen Music Festival 2009

Liam McBurney

Laura Whitmore at the Oxegen Music Festival in Punchestown

Laura Whitmore at the Oxegen Music Festival in Punchestown

Yeah Yeah Yeah's on stage at   Punchestown

Yeah Yeah Yeah's on stage at Punchestown

Brian O'Driscoll with Amy Hubermann and Friend Paul O'Donoghue   partying at   in Punchestown

Brian O'Driscoll with Amy Hubermann and Friend Paul O'Donoghue partying at in Punchestown

Evelynn Flynn and Breda Fitzgerald

Evelynn Flynn and Breda Fitzgerald

Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody performs at Oxegen

Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody performs at Oxegen

Lady Gaga performs at Oxegen 09

Lady Gaga performs at Oxegen 09

Eve Arnold and Keva Mc Auley Skerries   at The OXEGEN Music Festival in Punchestown

Eve Arnold and Keva Mc Auley Skerries at The OXEGEN Music Festival in Punchestown

Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys performs at Oxegen 09

Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys performs at Oxegen 09

Fans enjoy the atmosphere at Oxegen 09

Fans enjoy the atmosphere at Oxegen 09

Amy Oprey with Rebecca Maguire and Laura Healy  Belfast  at The OXEGEN Music Festival in Punchestown

Amy Oprey with Rebecca Maguire and Laura Healy Belfast at The OXEGEN Music Festival in Punchestown

The devil Andrew Cruise in the crowds at Oxegen 2009.

The devil Andrew Cruise in the crowds at Oxegen 2009.

Oxegen 09

Oxegen 09

Festival-goers arrive at Oxegen

Festival-goers arrive at Oxegen

Festival goers Sinead Feeney and Clara Brown, from Derry, arriving at the 09 Oxegen Festival in Punchestown

Festival goers Sinead Feeney and Clara Brown, from Derry, arriving at the 09 Oxegen Festival in Punchestown

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Festival goers begin to arrive for the Oxegen Music festival at Punchestown race course in Co Kildare.

Scores of Northern Ireland music fans joined more than 75,000 festival revellers as the annual rolling maul known as Oxegen got under way.





Thousands of concert-goers flooded through the gates of the campsites at Punchestown, in Co Kildare, after they opened at noon yesterday.



Less than an hour later, the green fields were transformed into a sea of tents as eager revellers got a head start on festivities.



Leinster and Ireland rugby heroes Jamie Heaslip and Cian Healy arrived on their bikes -- part of a group of 30 cyclists taking part in the '2 Wheels 2 Oxegen' cycle in aid of the Christina Noble Foundation. The riders had arrived in Punchestown by 4pm after setting off from Terenure College, Dublin, two hours earlier.



"It's the most training I have done all holiday and offsets the damage I am going to do to myself at Oxegen," Heaslip joked.



"We got some good support from motorists, especially when we came into Kildare, my own town, it was like opening the Red Sea for the lads."



Team mate Healy will be one of Oxegen's opening acts today when he takes to the decks in the Dance Arena at 2pm.

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A dance music fan, the Ireland and Leinster player mixes under the alias 'DJ Church'.



"I love the music and just got a set of decks and started messing around. My friend DJ Gordon gave me a few tips. I've done a few gigs in clubs and parties but never anything on this scale before," Cian said.







Voted Europe's best festival for the past two years, among the music fans arriving yesterday were travellers from Europe and the UK.



"We came over for Eminem. We've never seen him before and Oxegen seemed the best place to do it," said Lucy Thompson from Manchester, who came to the festival with fellow 22-year-olds Hayley Bradley and Jen Wood.



With dark clouds hanging over the festival and rain forecast for Saturday night, the weather was on some fans' minds.



Jamie Murphy (18), from Bunclody, Co Wexford, and his friend James O'Connor, arrived through Oxegen's Stonehenge-style entrance with buckets over their heads.



"The buckets aren't staying on our heads, they're for sitting on when the ground gets wet. We got them in the pound shop in Naas," Jamie said.



While arrivals were quickly progressing at the site, travel times varied.



It took students Megan Ryan, Hazel Murphy and friend Anne Marie Donlon, (all 18) five hours to travel up from Galway in a coach.



"It could be something to do with us stopping every few minutes so somebody could use the loo. It seemed to take ages," said Megan.



In marked contrast, Nicola Farrell (19) and friend Laura Carroll (20) from Knocklyon, in south Dublin, claimed to have taken 30 minutes to reach Oxegen, via the park and ride facilities at Goffs.



None of these concert-goers claimed to care about the prospect of rain over the weekend. "We've been to festivals in Spain. We had sunshine but the atmosphere wasn't as good. With Irish music festivals you just expect rain," said Nicola.



There was a strong contingent from Northern Ireland down for the festival, among them Zarah McGuinness (17), Sorcha Doherty (18), and Aimee Marshall (18), all from Lurgan, who we met huddled in their four-man tent.





"It only took three hours and we've pitched our tent. We're snug in here, who cares if it rains," said Zarah.



For those unable or unwilling to pitch their own tents, scouts from Scouting Ireland took the job for a minimum donation of €10 for charity.



With the music officially not starting until today, revellers in the campsites were entertained by Michael Jackson last night. Well not quite -- rather Dublin Michael Jackson impersonator, Anthony Walker.



- Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter



Source Irish Independent


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