At a very quick and cynical glance, the line up for the Punchestown Music Festival could cause you to guffaw. Shane Filan? As in yer man from Westlife? Yes. He's there but calm down and cast your judgments aside for just one second because this is a festival centred around the fun and ridiculous elements of pop eras gone by, rather than the here and now.
This two-day festival at the Punchestown racecourse in Kildare, the old haunting grounds of the Oxegen music festival, features Culture Club, Tom Jones, All Saints, Deacon Blue (Wooooohoooo woohoo woohoo), ABC, Village People, Bonnie Tyler, Bjorn Again and Boney M. Basically, the sideline acts from Electric Picnic that you swear you won't miss Caribou for but – lo and behold – there you are, front row, throwing your fluorescent pink bra at Tom Jones during the final rendition of What's New Pussycat?, losing what's left of your already raspy voice to Bonnie Tyler's I Need a Hero and roaring out to Boney M for just one more chorus from Rasputin.
This is what (some of) the people want.
This is the festival’s second year running and as the number of festivals in Ireland multiples at a ferocious rate every summer, it’s great that we have one that specialises in nostalgia and Abba tribute bands. Plus you can be guaranteed that there will be very few whippersnappers there to make you feel old.
Up to 20, 000 people are expected to arrive each day and to see 20, 000 people doing the YMCA in unison will be a memory you’ll cherish forever.
Are tickets still available?
They are indeed. Weekend tickets (€129.00), day tickets (€69.50) and camper van passes (€50) are still available to buy.
Can we camp?
The only camping available onsite is the pre-pitched boutique tents, tipis, bell tents, luxury lodges and campervan site provided by Pink Moon so you can leave your flysheet worries behind for the weekend. The campsites will have 24-hour security, regularly serviced toilets and showers, a pamper parlour (with hair dryers and straighteners), mobile charging and its own café. Regular camping is not permitted.
The Pink Moon & Campervan Campsite Opens from 9am on Saturday July 29th and will close at 10am Monday 31 July.
What else can we do there?
The Italian pasta brand Barilla will have a sit down restaurant onsite where you can have a three-course meal at €25 per person and Bump roller disco, that’s right, will finally combine your love of music and rollerskating.
There will also be an Aperol Spritz Bar and a Clarins skincare stand, to undo the damage of the Aperol.
What time does it kick off at?
The festival site opens at 2pm every day.
How do I get there?
There is parking available in the Punchestown Racecourse and the car parks open one hour before the gate opening time on your ticket.
There will be a pick up/drop off (Pudo) point and guests are advised to use the designated PUDO Area found in Car Park H if they are getting a lift. This can be accessed by Gate 3 on the L2023.
Taxis must enter through Gate 6 on the R411 at the end of the event to pick up fares.
There are a number of shuttle bus services running, including Andy’s of Naas, Executive Express and Dave Long Coach Travel, as well as the official Punchestown Music Festival Bus Service.
The latter will run a daily service every 30 minute to the site between noon and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday 30th July. A service for those with weekend camping tickets is departing on Saturday and returning on Monday at 11am.
The buses will depart from Georges Quay (outside Ulster Bank) and return tickets are €20-25 if you book online in advance. Tickets are €30 on the day and subject to availability.
Buses will return from Punchestown to George's Quay from 11pm until 1am. Organisers ask that you allow up to two hours travel time to Punchestown at peak time. To book, visit bushiredublin.net.
What about the weather?
Saturday will have a couple of light showers in the early afternoon and late evening and Sunday is forecast to remain dry. Grand.
What about security?
All guests will be patted down upon entry and all bags will be checked. Only small bags measuring no bigger than A4 (8.27in/21cm x 11.7in/29.7cm) will be permitted into the arena. Attendees will also be permitted to bring one folding chair per person.
Banned items include: glass, illegal substances, legal highs and nitrous oxide, portable laser equipment and pens, megaphones, air horns, gas canisters, aerosols, 250ml spray cans, fireworks, flares, Chinese or sky lanterns, knives and weapons or any item which may reasonably be considered for use as a weapon, animals (other than registered guide or hearing dogs), sound systems, unofficial tabards or reflective jackets, unauthorised items for trading, including any goods using unauthorised event logos, excessive amounts of cigarettes (only bring enough for personal consumption), generators and candles.
For any access enquiries or requests, contact email@example.com. There will be disabled parking if you enter Gate 3 on the L2023.