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Tuesday 20 November 2018

If it's raining it must be festival time

Sara Kavanagh getting into the festival mood yesterday at Punchestown for a pre-Oxegen photocall
Sara Kavanagh getting into the festival mood yesterday at Punchestown for a pre-Oxegen photocall
Gaz from The Kinetiks and Sara Jane Wai O'Flynn of The Dirty Epics didn't let the rain get in the way yesterday as they prepared for Oxegen's Xbox Live stage
If the present downpours continue then the usual mudbaths between the bands' sets are expected
The weather outlook isn't good for this year's festival
Jason O'Brien

Jason O'Brien

OXEGEN promoters have put more tickets on sale this week as part of the staggered release aimed at leaving ticket touts "high and dry" when the festival takes place next week.

The 80,000 or so with tickets should be so lucky.

With the recent heavy rain already leaving conditions decidedly soft underfoot at Punchestown Racecourse, yesterday's deluges ensured that pockets of standing water were popping up a good deal faster around the site than the huge stage tents.

And with more downpours forecast over the coming days, a repeat of last year -- complete with mud angels, mud baths, mud wrestling, abandoned tents, stranded cars and the onset of trenchfoot -- appears almost inevitable.

On the bright side, the element of surprise has been removed. And Amy Winehouse has not.

"It is in Ireland, it may well rain," Sophie Ridley, the event controller, said with some understatement yesterday, before detailing some of the measures put in place to combat the Irish summer.

"If you look in the campsites and carparks you will see that there is a whole network of roads that have gone up since last year," she said. "They are either permanent roads or temporary roads, depending on whether it is part of the racecourse or not, because obviously we can't build on the racecourse.

"But every headland has a road around it, every field has a crossroads in it. I'm not sure exactly how many miles or roads but it is many since last year which, in the carparks and in the campsites, should benefit people in getting around much easier than they did last year."

Large piles of woodchippings are already heaped at various points in the venue. Sellers of Wellington boots are beating the recession.

The first the fans will see of the site is at noon on Thursday when the campsites open and everything, presumably, will be nice and green. Probably best to take a picture.

Promoters MCD and the gardai were at pains yesterday to promote the benefits of public transport to and from the event, and also extolled the virtues of using the free shuttle buses from the Park and Rides located at Goff's and Newhall on the N7.


Along with the 2,000 onsite security, there will be 210 gardai working at the four-day event.

"Things like crime prevention control will take place, covert controls will take place, and drug units will be deployed along with regular uniform policing," Superintendent Kevin Donohue said.

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