Maybe today’s blog might seem a bit irrelevant to the suit business. And it would have been irrelevant to Tom Murphy’s store, until Kev (that’s me, the 6-month intern) took some holiday leave to go to my 4th OXEGEN. I bought my 4-day camping ticket way back when the line up hadn’t been made official. I had mixed emotions about the line up as it was being announced though. I wasn’t overly happy to hear Eminem and Jay-Z were among the main stage acts. I remember when OXEGEN used to be a rock/Indie festival. But I drew comfort in hearing Kasabian, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Sons and the Coronas (to name only a few) were also playing.
My friends and I decided to drive this year rather that rent a bus so I drove with 2 friends in the (bag, tent and alcohol filled) car on the Thursday. On the way the weather started to turn and the rain was pouring. Luckily, it took a brief break as we arrived and hurriedly pitched our tents. I was made return our mini marquee to my car as it was too unsafe with the winds, security explained. However, as the rain restarted, we snuck it in by breaking it into smaller pieces and hiding it among other friend’s tents to bypass security. When we did pitch it, we removed half of the poles, so to reduce the size, and decided to sit inside in it. Apparently this met security’s standards as no one made us remove it. The Thursday was spent exploring the campsites in our rain gear as no gigs were due to start until Friday. We wandered to the funfair where the Nokia stage was built. The Nokia stage was an all day disco/rave. So we stayed there till the early hours of Friday morning.
On Friday, the first gig I attended was The Coronas on the Main Stage. They set the tone to a great weekend by playing with an upbeat and happy mood despite the rain. The rain only added to the banter being had as everyone sang and danced to their hits. The rest of the bands I saw that day included The Delorentos, Vampire Weekend, Jay-Z, Stereophonics and Fatboy Slim. Highlight of the day would have included Delorentos front man crawling into the crowd to finish their encore. The low point must have been loosing both keys to our locked tent and (drunkenly) attempting to rip the wet lock off. We eventually succeeded when cooler heads prevailed and a scissors was borrowed to cut a new entrance. Or else it was Tom getting someone to text me asking me a password for one of our blogging sites. Last thing I wanted was a reminder about work back home. Only joking, if anything it made the can in my left hand taste that much sweeter.
2 Door Cinema Club kicked off the Saturday. Again their Indie genre and carefree attitudes made it simple to ignore the rain. Scot rockers, Biffy Clyro, really impressed by ignoring the rain and playing only in skinny jeans and leaving their upper bodies exposed to the pelting rain. They certainly gained a fan out of me as I (half) remember exposing my phone to the rain to remind myself to buy their albums when I returned home. It seemed a good idea at the time, but my phone was acting irregular for a few hours after. “At least Tom won’t be able to get a hold of me!!!”, I remember shouting to my friend. The day came to a perfect close as Florence + The Machine and Kasabian played right after one another. They truly were the highlights of the entire festival as they played their crowd-pleasing tracks to perfection. Muse also managed to please, but I found it hard to get too inspired after expending most of my energy previously and not knowing many of their songs. However I enjoyed the front man, Matt Bellamy, taking to the stage in a rain jacket. He eventually ditched it and weathered the storm as we all did.
The final day exploded with the Sun finally making an appearance. I’ve the farmer’s tan (burn) to prove how hot it truly was. Bad choice wearing my AFL Brisbane Lions jersey. However it provided me with some amusement as I convinced many I was Australian and travelled all this way for the festival. D12 started the day and kept me amused until Joshua Radin appeared. His laid back performance allowed me to finally get some sense of relaxation and this mood was continued by Paolo Nutini. However (but not unfortunately), when Faithless arrived, the tempo exploded as everyone sprang back into life. Eminem and Mumford & Sons were clashing and I was the only one willing to skip Eminem. So I made a compromise to watch Mumford & Sons and leave early to meet the lads for the last few Eminem songs. And I don’t regret it as I got the songs I really wanted and now I get to say I at least saw some of Eminem to people. Our Sunday finished with everyone discussing/arguing who was the best/worst of the weekend back at our campsites over the last of what (little) drink we had left.
Out of 10, I give the festival a 20. I enjoyed it immensely and am already looking forward to next year. I wouldn’t mind if the mud give it a skip though