When we think of Irish summers, what words generally spring to mind? Rain, school holidays and Oxegen are just some of the things associated with an Irish summer. This weekend brings both of those in equal measure. Rain and Oxegen. They just seem to go hand in hand along with wellies, ponchos and denim-shorts, along with the peculiar musical festival habit of wearing sun-glasses, even in the rain.
SO I think that we have established that it is going to rain yet again in Punchestown. Why am I writing this Blog post again? Oh yes, Oxegen and how it has embraced the new social world we live in. Way back in 2005 when I made my first and so far only visit to Oxegen, I lived in a different world. My phone was used for texting, making some calls and playing snake. I relied on a map clung around my neck to tell me what time and where to see my favourite bands. And I had to hump my tent and provisions for the weekend a few miles into the campsite. Oh how things have changed.
This year a few new services have caught the eye. With the rise of smartphone technology and social media, the event organisers and auxiliary components of the festival are embracing new ideas of communication. The Oxegen I Phone App is a very useful tool for all those smartphone users out there. The handy app offers services such as (take a deep breath) travel information, a festival surviving guide, interactive line-up planner, oxegen radio, news and twitter, map of the festival site and also a handy ‘My Oxegen’ tool which allows you to locate friends and invite them to your tent party (exhale). So as you can see, the festival goer of today is prepared for every eventuality, from being able to meet your friends to checking when and where your favourite bands are playing. I could have done with this on my first trip which was spent wondering the campsite looking for my blue tent. How was I to know that blue was such a popular colour for a tent? One thing the App cannot do though is carry your stuff, so pack wisely.
An Garda Siochanna will also be using Twitter to make Oxegen related updates, so make sure that you stay connected on your trip. For anyone going, enjoy the experience and the rain. And for those of you like me, who aren’t brave enough to test the elements, well enjoy your weekend too, and stay dry.