The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Key Notes found it very difficult to resist the temptation to call this feature: How To Be A Happy Camper.  However, the tips included here are not just for those planning to camp, but for everyone making their way to Punchestown for Oxegen 2009 (July 9 - 12).

1. Don't Forget Your Ticket
It may seem like the most obvious thing in the world but Key Notes has seen many people arrive at a gig/festival without their ticket over the years.  This blog lives just a couple of miles from Punchestown, but imagine you travelled all the way from Cork or Belfast with all your gear but without your ticket.  Wouldn't be a very nice feeling now would it? Before you leave your house, double and triple check your ticket.

2. Remember You're in Ireland
It might be July, but all weather conditions, from heat wave to monsoon, are possible, and can be experienced over the course of a single day.  With this in mind, bring everything from sun cream to wellies.  Should you forget your wellies, this years Oxegen will have a Schuh Welly Exchange where you hand over your muddy, impractical shoes in exchange for a brand new pair of wellies and all of the discarded shoes are collected by the European Recycling Company before getting shipped to the Third World where they are cleaned up and sold on, stimulating the local economy.

3. Keeping Clean is Easy
Now, this is a direct message to you, the GAA jersey wearing, Tayto eating bloke who stays in  the same clothes all weekend.  You might be proud of your county, that's fair enough, but if you insist on not changing and not showering (despite brand new showers being provided this year) then baby wipes, alcohol rubbing gels and deodorants are a very easy and cheap way to stay clean.  Who, knows, if you stay clean you might just get to benefit from the next tip.

4. Stay Safe!
Lets face it, festivals are peculiar places and the heady mix of alcohol, high spirits and music can result in all sorts of strange couplings.  Should you be lucky enough to, eh, get lucky, then really, use a condom.  This blog is sure that none of you want to wake up in a couple of months with an unexplained itch or, indeed, having to ask if 'festival goer' is allowed in the Father's Occupation section on the birth cert.  Festivals are also very big places and losing your friends is easy so make sure you arrange a meeting point should this happen and/or ensure that your phone is fully charged.  A torch is also a good idea as you'll often be making your way back to your tent while it is dark.

5. Have Fun!
Life is pretty mundane most of the time and festivals offer you an opportunity to really let your hair down.  Oxegen, as Europe's favourite festival as voted for by festival goers, is no different.  Aside from the music there are silent discos, funfairs and, for the first time this year, a paintball alley.  They say that, in order to be considered a good driver, your behaviour should not affect the behaviour of other road users.  The same is true for festivals.  Don't act like an arsehole and it's likely that you'll get through the weekend without anyone thinking of you as such.

There are still a limited number of tickets available for Oxegen 2009 from here.  You can also get further festival tips on

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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.