Music fans to get Oxegen fix

THE finishing touches are being put to one of Europe’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll weekends with promises of continued sunshine for tens of thousands of eager music fans.

Festival-goers are being encouraged to leave their cars at home and make their way to Oxegen at Punchestown via public transport. Some of the headliners for the three-day festival this year include Muse, Eminem and Arcade Fire. Other groups and artists heading to the giant outdoor Kildare venue include Florence and the Machine, Fatboy Slim, the Black Eyed Peas as well as dance act The Prodigy.

Three-day camping tickets still remain for the weekend, priced at the 2008 cost of €224.50 (including booking fee).

Gardaí and organisers yesterday discussed travel plans for the festival, with fans being encouraged to skip the traffic queues and help save the environment by travelling by bus or train. Park and ride facilities are also available with a free shuttle service into the gates of Oxegen from nearby sites situated at Goffs, off junction 8 of the N7.

For those travelling by car, the car parks open at 10am on Thursday and close at 6pm on Monday. Health chiefs said they would also be handing out up to 10,000 “Think Contraception” festival packs.

The HSE’s Crisis Pregnancy Programme said it would be encouraging fans to be responsible to help prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Fans will also be interviewed by health chiefs about the best tips for staying safe and dealing with unwanted pressure to have sex. Programme director Caroline Spillane said: “We’re looking forward to getting their top tips for planning ahead for a safe and fun festival.”

The weather for the most part should remain dry. While rain is forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday will remain mostly dry with temperatures of around 19C. Met Éireann added: “It won’t be a washout.”

* www.oxegen.ie

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