All night parties and booze at Punchestown
There people were killed on the way back from the Oxegen music festival over the weekend of 7-9 July. They may have been afflicted with an exhaustion that devoured most who attended. By Nóirín Byrne
There was no sleep at Punchestown for the Oxygen 2006 festival. Thousands arrived on the Friday evening, hours spent on erecting tents, then, with the campsites full, parties started. DIY music sessions, drink, more drink, and more drink. No problem with security. No sleep on that Friday night, noise, drink, laughter, singing, drink, shouting, craic and drink.
It rained on Saturday, poured on Saturday. The festival had started but few left the tents until the late afternoon – the day was spent in tents with more drink. Some braved the rain and the cold and made the 15-minute trek from the campsite to the music arena to watch some of the more popular bands: The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys and The Who.
The bars shut between 10pm and 11pm but most people had alcohol back in their tents to ensure that the night didn't end early. When it did end, back to the campsites, a 15-minute journey through the muck and the rain.
By Saturday night the rain had eased off but many were so drunk the rain had not bothered them. Everyone was still having fun, running around to and fro the portaloos and the food stalls which stayed opened throughout the night.
The toilets were filthy and only a few of them were in use. They were blocked with toilet roll and beer cans but despite this people continued to use them. A lot of the tents were damaged from the wind and the rain but people still sat up until the early hours laughing and partying. On Sunday morning people were up early, probably with little sleep. The sun made an appearance. Exhaustion was everywhere even on Sunday. Many stayed over on Sunday night and again sleep must have been sporadic.
Many had come by public transport but a huge number came in private cars. Whether they left on Sunday evening or Monday morning most must have been overcome with tiredness.