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"This Is A Free Gig From Now On" - Oasis Saves the Day
OASIS star Noel Gallagher promised fans a refund after an electrical fault brought their big homecoming gig at Heaton Park to a dramatic halt last night.
The band, playing in front of 70,000 fans, were finishing their first song - Rock 'n' Roll Star - when the sound system cut out. The Gallagher brothers left the stage and returned a couple of minutes later, launching into Lyla.
But two huge screens relaying the action to the capacity crowd went blank and there was a plume of smoke from behind the stage.
The band left again - and did not return until 45 minutes later.
There were restless scenes in the crowd, with a number of people carried out by security.
A message was flashed up on the screens blaming a fault with the electrical generator.
That was replaced with a message saying 'Nearly there'.
The band returned a few minutes later with Noel apologising - and promising everyone a refund. "This is a free gig from now on," he announced.
He later joked: "The generator blew up and they had to go and borrow one from the Argos in Manchester."
With tickets costing £45 each, that could leave someone to foot a £3m bill.
The band then played The Shock of the Lightning before Liam addressed the crowd.
In a reference to a column by M.E.N. columnist and Prestwich resident Angela Epstein - who had said she did not want Oasis playing in Heaton Park - the frontman said: "This one is dedicated to Mrs Epstein of the Manchester Evening News, who thinks we should not be here."
The band then played Cigarettes and Alcohol.
Earlier, there had been unprecedented scenes around the park before the band's arrival.
Tens of thousands of fans had flocked to north Manchester to sample the festival atmosphere as gates opened in the sunshine at 2pm.
The tranquil suburban streets of Prestwich resembled those surrounding Old Trafford on derby day as fans continued to pour in throughout the afternoon.
Special buses from the city centre ferried more in as the day progressed.
The route from the park-and-ride laid on for the event in Bowlee, Rochdale, was lined throughout the afternoon with those who had travelled by car.
Trading standards officers were out in force in a bid to crack down on vendors selling illegal merchandise from street stalls.
Prior to the gig, Noel Gallagher amazed onlookers by walking through city centre Manchester unguarded.
He stopped in St Ann's Square to sign a copy of the Big Issue for a seller and chatted with fans.