Over the weekend, the rumours circulating about Oxegen not taking place this year was confirmed by a statement from MCD on the website:
It is with regret that MCD announce that OXEGEN will not take place this year due to lack of suitable Headline Acts which combined with the financial demands by local agencies make it no longer viable to stage the Festival in its current form.
While the reasons given are questionable and conveniently distracting from the festival’s recent problems, the outcome isn’t a surprise as the festival has gone from being the most popular on the Irish summer calendar to one that suffered an identity/punter crisis. Oxegen went from an rock/alternative festival to a pop/rock one to an electronic dance music/pop festival. Other festivals sprouted up and offered the older (and younger) audience something different and more discerning.
The young people who would have replaced some of that audience have emigrated. There are simply not enough people who want to go to a field in Kildare to watch EDM or pop acts. The place for that is not outdoors anymore as the audience would rather be in The O2 or elsewhere thank you very much.
Irish audiences have their pick of festivals now. We’re in a golden age of them. We’re experienced. For many, Oxegen just didn’t cut it anymore.
Most festivals have a limited shelf-life. It had been time to move on from Oxegen for a few years.