Who needs Oxegen anyway?
EVERY cloud has a silver lining. So, while it was sad to see Oxegen bite the dust, its demise has paved the way for an avalanche of smaller-scale shows with big-name acts as promoters rush to fill the vacuum.
Here then is my pick of some of the best outdoor live events coming our way during the summer season: Who: Mumford and Sons Where: Salthill Park, Salthill, Galway When: Saturday, June 9 Ticket price: €49.50 (on sale April 21, 9 a.m.)
Mumford and Sons series of 'Gentlemen of the Road Stopover...' shows this summer purposely visit centres off the beaten track of international touring. 'We want to stop off in towns not usually heavily toured by bands, and celebrate the people, food and music that inhabit them,' says the band who promise 'a whole lot of fun'. Guests in Galway will include The Vaccines, Willy Mason, Zulu Winter, Nathaniel Rateliff, and The Correspondents. Who: Red Hot Chili Peppers Where: Croke Park When: June 26 Ticket price: €49.50
With 70 million album sales under their belts, the Chilis can probably claim a sizeable following in Ireland. Always a great live act, they'll be joined at GAA HQ by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (makers of one of last year's most enjoyable albums) and The Vaccines. Who: Madonna Where: Aviva Stadium When: July 24 Ticket price: from €54.65
With a half-time show during the Super Bowl, attracting 117.8m viewers (three million more than the game itself ), and a new number one album, Madonna is back with a bang in 2012. Not that she ever really went away: there have been many pretenders to the throne, but Madonna remains the Queen of Pop. The Dublin date is part of a 2012 world tour that stops off at 26 European cities. Who: David Guetta and special guests. Where: Marlay Park When: Friday, August 24 Ticket price: €49.50
Guetta, a double winner at the Grammys currently promoting his fifth studio album, is the king of DJS. Joining him in Dublin will be a stellar cast, including London rapper and chart-topper Example, Benny Bennassi, Rizzle Kicks, Wolfgang Gartner and Tommy Trash. Who: Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Bobby Womack Where: Marlay Park When: Saturday, August 25 Ticket price: €59.50
The Irish superstar, Welsh legend and American R&B icon should bring a touch of real class to Dublin's Marlay Park towards the end of the summer season. All three will perform with their bands, and a few special collaborations are also promised. Who: Electric Picnic Where: Stradbally Hall, Co Laois When: Friday to Sunday, Aug 31 to Sep 2 Ticket price: weekend camping, €230; Sunday only, €99.50
With Oxegen out of the picture, Electric Picnic is Ireland's largest weekend festival in 2012. It's not cheap but the line-up's first rate and there's plenty of side attractions. This year's line-up includes The Cure, The Killers, Elbox, Sigor Ros, Christy Moore, Oribital, Hot Chip, The XX, and Ed Sheeran. Who: Lady Gaga Where: Aviva Stadium When: Saturday,september 15 Ticket price: from €54.65
Lady Gaga doesn't do anything in half measures, so her 2012 world tour, The Born This Way Ball, will be as much about the onstage theatrics as the music when it touches down in Dublin in September. It celebrates the success of the 'Born This Way' album, with six million sales and counting. She'll be joined at the Aviva by a reformed and reinvigorated The Darkness who release their third studio album and their first in eight years this summer.