Full of the Pipe 2018: finally, a place to call home



Taking Full of the Pipe to Punchestown Racecourse in 2017 was a statement of intent from the organisers, relfecting the scope of their ambition and the scale of their confidence in the show they first breathed life into in 2010.

Kevin Mulqueen and Colin Hegarty were never going to settle for Full of the Pipe being just another truck show…

Their vision was that it would become a flagship event, a weekend that the trucking community marks down as a must-attend every year … unmissable, unmatchable, unmistakingly Full of the Pipe. There would be no settling for second best in any aspect of the show (one of the reasons why it’s heading inexorably towards its landmark tenth staging next year!).

This extends to the venue. A prime, prestigious, first-rate facility is what’s needed to take any event to the next level. And Full of the Pipe has found a most suitable partner in Punchestown Racecourse Event Centre. Those who attended the 2017 show enjoyed the luxury of the new venue and there were many other boxes ticked in addition to the capacity of the actual facility to host a prestigious event.

Not least of these is accessibility, a trait everyone in trucking can relate to. Getting in and getting out with a minimum of fuss will always leave a smile on the discerning trucker’s face and this most decidedly applies to Punchestown. The location is central (within striking distance of the M50 and also close to the M7 and N81) served by a generous network of major roads, which are in good condition generally compared to elsewhere in the country. Unlikely that you’ll encounter a pothole the size of a small nation (which would certainly put a dampener on the weekend!

Visitors to this year’s Full of the Pipe are in for an added treat as they will be able to enjoy the show from the comfort of the brand-new Hunt Stand (named after Kildare Hunt Club, who own the facility), which was officially opened to the public for the 2018 Punchestown Festival in late April.

“We launched the new Stand at the Festival and it will be used by those who attend Full of the Pipe,” confirms Conor O’Neill, Commercial Manager Punchestown Racecourse & Event Venue. “In fairness to Kevin and Colin, they have put a phenomenal show together and it is testament to their hard work and endeavour that it has grown to such a scale. It’s a very professional show and we were mightily impressed by what we saw in 2017.

“From a Punchestown perspective, last year was of course our first to host the event and I was pleasantly taken aback by the size of the show and the organisation that went into it. The logistics that went into it and the manner in which it was ran off so smoothly was impressive and the feedback from the public was very positive. We are delighted to have it coming back to Punchestown again and we will endeavour to do what we can to help the organisers make it bigger and better than last year.

“We have a flexible facility that hosts a diverse range of national and international events and shows and we’re looking forward to providing any help we can in assisting in the further growth of Full of the Pipe, which would be mutually beneficial to both parties.

“Watching the sheer number of trucks rolling into the venue last year was quite a sight. The events game is not an easy one but there was a continuous line of trucks and it was great to see it.

“From our point of view in Punchestown, staging Full of the Pipe also demonstrates the diversity of the Event Centre and underlines out ability to host a wide range of events.”

When seeking the ideal location to host one of Europe’s biggest and best truck shows, Punchestown is in many ways a racing certainty! Synonymous with some of the biggest dates in the Irish sporting calendar, Punchestown is known as the home of Irish Jumps Racing and plays host to the annual Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival.

Punchestown Race Course has of course been the scene of many iconic occasions down through the years and the well-appointed Events Centre at this world famous Kildare venue will once more be the place to be for the trucking fraternity on Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th this year as it hosts Full of the Pipe Truck Show Ireland for the second time.

This is the ninth staging of Ireland’s most-exciting truck show, which enjoyed a significant surge in popularity over recent years, prompting the need to relocate to a larger, more central site. Though representing a sizeable financial investment, Punchestown is ideal for guaranteeing visitor comfort and convenience.

Cavan Equestrian Centre had staged Full of the Pipe for the six previous years but it was time to upscale in 2017 as more space was needed to cater for rising number of people flocking to FOTP every year (an increase of up to 100 trucks per show has been recorded).

The switch to Punchestown Racecourse – an internationally-renowned centre for hunt racing, equestrian, field sports, festivals, exhibitions and a range of other events – has been seamless and it looks like this could become the long-term stage for the event going forward

Punchestown Racecourse is located in the parish of Eadestown, between the R410 and R411 regional roads, within close proximity to the N7 and M50, near Naas, County Kildare. Celebrated as the home of Irish Jumps Racing, Punchestown also hosts several music events, including the Punchestown Music Festival, which has replaced the famous Oxegen Festival. Last year’s retro-themed Festival included acts like Tom Jones, Deacon Blue, Boney M, Village People, and Smokie as well as Jess Glynne, Shane Filan and All Saints. while AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Eminem and U2 are amongst the massive international musical acts to have performed here.

The Punchestown Event & Exhibition Centre was added to the Punchestown Complex in 2001, offering the client a top-class, 60,000 sq ft event and exhibition facility with a specification to match. Punchestown Event Centre is unique in that its design lends itself to the provision of maximum space and flexibility, which ensures that the venue is suitable for a wide range of events and exhibitions.

Boasting a gross floor area of 5,600 square metres and net floor area of 5,050 square metres, Punchestown has exceptional hospitality features for shows and displays and is home to winners both on and off the track.

Punchestown and all of its facilities are unique and vast and they can be tailored for all styles of event. This flexibility allowed the organisers of Full of the Pipe in both 2017 and 2018 to organise a weekend show to their precise specifications, which will again ensure maximum enjoyment and convenience for truckers, exhibitors and other visitors alike.

Needless to say, the team at Punchestown have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the events industry which, combined with a diverse range of skills, enables the event organiser to stage a successful event. The Punchestown team are dedicated and committed to the client from the planning stage right through to event completion, ready and willing to help in all best practices to ensure that the maximum is derived from the facility – recognised in 2011 with the ‘Best In-House Event Team’ award at the Event Industry Awards.

With free parking for up to 17,000 cars and offering excellent access from Ireland’s national roads network, Punchestown Racecourse is a convenient, flexible and diverse venue that has become synonymous with a Who’s Who of promoters, events and shows down through the year, enjoying regular repeat custom from the likes of MCD Promotions, the Farm Machinery Show, the National Plant Show, Watchtower Convention, Dixon’s Roadshow, European and Local Elections, Musgraves Trade Shows, Modified Motors & Prodrift Live Show, the Construction Plant Show and now Full of the Pipe Truck Show Ireland.

The Punchestown Festival is the major horse racing festival of the Irish National Hunt Season, normally staged annually in April, over five days, between Tuesday and Saturday inclusive. It is seen by many as the Irish version of the Cheltenham Festival and is run in a very similar format.

The major races at the Festival are the Champion Chase, Novice Chase, Champion Hurdle, World Series Hurdle, Champion Novice Hurdle, Champion Novice Hurdle, Champion Novice Chase, Champion Four Year Old Hurdle, Champion INH Flat Race and the Punchestown Gold Cup.

The 2018 Punchestown Festival took place from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th of April and was another resounding success both from a sporting and corporate perspective. Over 17,000 hospitality clients savoured one of Ireland’s most popular sporting and social events at Punchestown Racecourse as the appetite for corporate entertainment continued to increase, with 725 companies hosting guests at the Festival and restaurants, pavilions and private suites sold out in advance of the five-day festival.

Six weeks later, the truckers roll in for their big weekend…

“Kevin and Colin have grown Full of the Pipe into the biggest truck show in Ireland and I would like to take this opportunity to wish them and their team – and everybody who attends - all the best with the 2018 show, Colin O’Neill concludes. “We’re looking forward to welcoming them all back to Punchestown and to doing anything we can to make the show even bigger and better than before.”

Full of the Pipe Truck Show Ireland 2018 - Punchestown Racecourse, 9/10 June 2018