Tuesday 16 January 2018

Treasure trove of personal items found in clean-up operation

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

IT's all the stuff that you can't leave behind, yet thousands did.

After three days gorging on music, weary fans made the long journey home from Oxegen yesterday.

However, in their wake were all those little -- and not so little -- necessities.

Hundreds of passports, mobile phones, digital cameras, car keys -- and even a child's buggy -- were collected from the festival site at Punchestown in Co Kildare as a massive clean-up operation swung into action.

The main campsite could have been mistaken for a hastily-exited refugee camp, albeit one with rather more empty beer cans.

Proving much of modern life is indeed rubbish, Ireland's disposable-happy music fans left the usual flotsam and jetsam of tents, collapsible camp-chairs, inflatable mattresses and rucksacks.

However, over at the temporary garda station, officers were sorting through more valuable fare.

By midday yesterday, a number of people had already been reunited with their passports -- among them a delighted Australian couple and two French girls, who were all due to fly out later that day.

"As of 9am this morning, two gardai have been delegated at Naas garda station to deal with all the lost property and hopefully people will be able to reclaim it from there," Sgt Paul Reilly said.

With attendance figures believed to have been down by around 15pc compared to last year's Oxegen, other music festivals might be forgiven for being concerned about their own fate in recession-hit Ireland.

For the first time, Electric Picnic, which runs at the Stradbally Estate in Co Laois from September 2-4, will be selling day tickets, although just for the Sunday.

A spokesperson said it was still "early days" for the event which has 32,500 tickets for sale.

"It's still early days for us and there's practically two months left. Sales are always up a bit after Oxegen," she added.

Organisers have decided to sell day tickets -- costing €99.50 -- for the first time. However, in order to keep its "community atmosphere" these are only available for the last day.

Weekend tickets, including camping, cost €240.

festival review, page 33

Irish Independent

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