Wellies de rigueur at Oxegen


It’s rare you get something for nothing at a music festival. So seeing a queue for a free yoghurt on the opening day of Oxegen came as no big surprise.

Some said their free treat would serve as soakage for the long day ahead. One punter said they couldn’t afford to eat anything else. But John Boyle (22) from Limerick was not afraid to admit he’d take anything he didn’t have to pay for.

“I’ve paid over €200 for a ticket, €50 for a tent, a tenner for a schedule showing who’s on where and will be paying over a fiver for every drink I have while I’m here,” he said. “I don’t really like yoghurts, but if there’s something for nothing here, I’m taking it.”

Inside the arena, the ferris wheels are turning, the ATM queues are growing and the PA systems are being put to the test by the opening acts.

Making their way towards the main stage, Emmet Budds (17) and Ciarán Kirkland (17) said they were enjoying their maiden festival experience.

“The bands I want to see haven’t even started yet but I love it,” Ciarán said.

“We didn’t get any sleep last night because the music was blaring around the campsite all the time,” Emmet grumbled.

“Ah yeah, but it’s still great fun in the blue campsite. Everyone there is sound out,” Ciarán added.

Tania Suhalitka (21) and Jennifer Fada Moussa (22) arrived at Oxegen from Cork at 5am today.

“This is our first time here…It’s amazing,” said Tania. “Muse are here so I don’t care about anything else. I’m going to see them in Wembley and I saw them in their home town, so it will be five times. They’re my favourite band so I just had to be here."

“That’s dedication,” laughed Jennifer, who was looking forward to Paolo Nutini and pleased not to be setting up a tent in the rain following a joint decision to sleep in the car for the weekend.

Jean Ryan (18) from Limerick said she was 24 hours into her first festival experience. The weekend was a way of seeing Florence and the Machine and marking completing her Leaving Cert, the outcome of which she did not want to think about. “It’s been good so far,” she said. “But the campsite is very messy. There are beer cans everywhere and I’ve been avoiding going to the toilets because they’re a total mess already.”

A persistent drizzle is dictating festival fashion. A colourful selection of ponchos, wellies, raincoats and hats are on shown throughout the festival site.

The dance arena, a huge shed that once hosted ideal homes exhibitions, has proved a popular shelter for some of the masses. This was much to the delight of Irish rugby star Cian Healy, who has swapped the front row of the scrum for a spot behind the decks as he moonlights as DJ Church.