Oasis at Knebworth House 1996: One fan remembers

Liam Gallagher of Oasis at Knebworth

Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher at Knebworth 1996 - Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

It was 25 years ago this month that Oasis, in their Bitpop pomp, played to a quarter of a million people at Knebworth. As new film charts the experience, Hertfordshire Life Editor Richard Young, recollects being a punter at the gig...

It may be typical hyperbole but, according to the band, more than four per cent of the British population applied for tickets to the Oasis concerts that took place at Knebworth House 25 years ago this month. 

On the weekend of August 10-11 in 1996, those 250,000 fans lucky enough to get tickets were at the home of rock to watch the band in their stomping, arrogant prime. And I was one of them. 

A Sea of hands at Knebworth Park during the Oasis Open Air Concert.

A sea of hands at Knebworth Park during the Oasis open air concert - Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The huge crowd rose up the sides of a natural bowl in the grounds of the stately home, at the bottom of which was an enormous custom built stage feeding a series of huge speakers around the site.

On to that stage came a who's-who of '90s indie-rock and dance - The Prodigy, Manic Street Preachers, The Chemical Brothers, Ocean Colour Scene, The Charlatans, Kula Shaker - all support for Noel, Liam, Guigsy, Alan and Bonehead who ripped into a 20 song set, the words of which were roared right back at them by 125,000 people. 

Oasis Knebworth 1996 gig ticket

Ticket for the Sunday Oasis Knebworth gig in August 1996 - Credit: Archant

Oasis' second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? was huge, it was summer, I was back from my first year at university, and the biggest concert on Earth was taking place up the road from my mum and dad's house. Champagne Supernova days indeed. 

To mark the anniversary, a feature-length documentary Oasis Knebworth 1996, is planned for release in cinemas worldwide on September 23.

It will show never-before-seen footage of the concert and backstage - littered (quite literally) with celebs - with additional interviews with the band and gig organisers.

 Oasis ahead of their performances at Knebworth Park in Hertfordshier

Oasis the day before their opening concert at Knebworth - the stage was custom-built with at that time the world's largest video screen - Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

According to producers Black Dog Films, the Jake Scott-directed documentary is 'a joyful and at times poignant cinematic celebration of one of the most iconic live concert events of the last 25 years, driven entirely by the music, and the fans’ own experiences of that monumental weekend'. 

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My experience was one of friends, dancing, laughing, running amok, and the joyful exuberance of the music and the times.

No mobile phones, no social media, just hands-in-the-air rock n roll. 'You're making history!' Noel shouted. Too right we were. 

Oasis singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher at the Knebworth Park concert 

Singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher at the Knebworth Park concert - Credit: ilpo musto/Alamy Stock Photo

Bookings for the film can be made from August 10 at oasisknebworth1996.com