A well-known event here around the UCD campus, Natasha Murtagh chronicles her experience of the infamous Mystery Tour
In recent years, rumours have abounded regarding the extent of the shenanigans involved in the UCD’s annual Mystery Tour bus trip. But what does this event actually entail? Is it just a glorified booze up, or is there more to it than that? The University Observer was on hand to separate the facts from the myth of this not-quite-so-illustrious event.
The day began at 12pm in the Student Bar. Here everyone handed in their tickets in exchange for a wristband with the bus number you were assigned for the evening, which would take you to the three venues of the night. Following the Student Bar, there was a delayed departure at 3pm for our first destination. Some students had started drinking early, but of course they were the first to call it a night, or not even remember the night full stop.
We were told nothing. When you asked a steward a question in relation to the whereabouts of the bus or our next venue, they would reveal nothing, explaining that they were as clueless as we were.
As we all pilled on the buses, sheets of paper were being handed out with the ‘Mystery Tour Score Board’. This was a list of dares that one would go through in order to receive points. Certain dares would reward you a higher amount of points. The highest dare would give you 200 points, and all it required was to not score Paul Sweeney. Other dares at 20 points each were; score a steward, score a DJ, down a pint and motorboat a first year. Meanwhile, vomiting and passing out in the club lost you points.
Flash backs of lycra ra-ra skirts, popped Abercrombie collars and sweet kitten heels came rushing in with the sightings of the first venue. That’s right, it was good old Wezz. Absolutely nothing had changed; it was still the grungy old lovable dump it always has been, and was still covered in tacky tinfoil Christmas decorations and even the sweaty walls started working their magic 15 minutes into arrival. It was all rather exciting to be back at Wezz to begin with, but then after about half an hour, the thrill died with a thump, and we were all ready to leave.
The general feeling from a few of the students was that Wezz wasn’t really the place to be. For example, Clare Scott, a 2nd year English and Philosophy student, said that: “Wezz wasn’t the best place to go for the start of the night. It was too early to get up and dance and we were stuck in there for three hours.” When asked what would have been a more suitable beginning, Leanne Brennan, a 1st year Arts student said: “Maybe the tour could have been later, so then we could have gone straight to a proper nightclub.”
Finally, at 5:30pm we left Wezz and were onto our second venue of the night and the hissing of cans being opened echoed down the bus. Nothing could be seen out the windows. It was pitch black, we were off the motorway and there were no street lamps. Obviously, we were on some random country road.
At 8pm the buses began to pull into a car park and with that came the screams of: “Oh my god lads, we’re at Bucks!” Buck Mulligan’s is a club in Athboy, Co. Meath, and we clearly had a few locals on bus 2. It turned out to be a brilliant venue. There was a big enough dance floor and a DJ playing good music. We stayed here for what seemed like 20 minutes, but it was already 10.45pm when we reached our final destination: Mantra, Maynooth.
This was the first proper club of the night with people other than UCD students in it. Everything was a bit more relaxed here as the stewards were able to drink, and nobody was worried about time and missing a bus. The only problem was that some people were knackered by this stage and simply wanted to go home. So for those few students that did want to go home, the remainder of the evening was quite an ordeal.
We were in Maynooth, it was after 11.00pm, all public transport had stopped, and it was far too expensive to get back to UCD via taxi. One of the stewards was telling people that the UCD buses that brought us here were staying around for an hour or two for those who wanted to head back to UCD early. But then another steward said the buses had gone back, it was getting impossible to get a straight answer.
One of the bus coordinator’s for the night, John Ryan, said: “The SU ran things exceptionally well; UCD is actually one of the easiest colleges to work with.” After walking back up to the drop off point, we were finally directed by one of the coordinators to a bus that would bring us back when 25 people were on board. At around 1.30am the bus closed its doors and headed home, making a stop at O’Connell Bridge for those who wanted to get off. Mystery solved.