Wellies at the ready, Oxegen is back and rumour is Rocket Man will take centre stage
SOME of the world's biggest bands and pop stars are set to take centre stage here as the country's biggest musical festival Oxegen makes a return this summer.
The 2011 concert had a stellar line up, with Beyonce, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters all performing in Punchestown, Co Kildare.
Lady Gaga, Primal Scream, Snow Patrol and The Killers have also played Punchestown in previous years.
The weekend festival will take place on August 3 and 4 -- later than the usual July date.
Not surprisingly, fans and festival-goers are already speculating who will take to the Oxegen stage this year.
The festival will have to up its game given the big names UK festivals have pulled in.
Reading and Leeds have enlisted US Rapper Eminem to headline, while rumours are rife that The Rolling Stones will celebrate their 50th anniversary by rocking out at Glastonbury.
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac has also expressed a keen interesting in prancing on the Glasto stage.
Irish festival-goers think Elton John and Snoop Dogg could take to the stage.
The Rocket Man singer and Drop It Like It's Hot rapper will perform at the Isle of Wight festival, Bestival, and fans hope the two will head over to Irish shores.
UK rapper Example is also in the mix for the two-day festival. Last year, Example took part in Arthur's Day celebrations and wowed music impresarios.
Professor Green may also be in the running after his knockout gig in Belfast last year.
US alternative metal band Deftones are one of the lead acts at Reading and are tipped to perform over here.
Wildest Moment's singer and style icon Jessie Ware will be touring North America and Canada in late spring and industry insiders think she could head over to Irish soil once she's done Stateside.
Rumours are circulating that The Flaming Lips and Grammy award-winning US band The Roots will make an appearance.
They may be schoolboys, but fans of Cavan band The Strypes hope to see the boys perform a set early on in the night.
The Strypes performed at Electric Picnic last year and their set went down a storm.
Kodaline were the most searched Irish band in 2012 and it is thought the Dublin boys are high up on MCD's wish list.
Other Irish bands and singers tipped to perform are The Original Rudeboys, Mary Black's daughter Roisin O, Two Door Cinema Club, Sinead O'Connor and Imelda May.
The festival's promoters MCD had rested the festival last year.
But Denis Desmond, of MCD, confirmed the 2013 dates this week and said the line-up will be announced later this month.
This month, music trade journal pollster confirmed MCD Productions has maintained its place in the top 10 music promoters in the world in terms of ticket sales.
Last year, MCD Productions recorded 1.2 million in ticket sales.