Main image – public domain
The last big festival of the year, Electric Picnic, takes place in Stradbally, County Laois from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September. Main stage acts include Duran Duran, The xx and A Tribe Called Quest but there is also an excellent comedy tent, the Theatre of Food, an Other Voices stage and the Play the Picnic stage which will feature up-and-coming bands alongside established Irish acts.
Here at Roadwatch, not only do we know the junction numbers of all the major motorways in Ireland off by heart (J7 on the M8? Eh, it’s Cashel North of course), we also know everything there is to know about getting your 85 packets of wet wipes and flower crown to Stradbally. Pop on your wellies and vintage kimono and read on…
‘I didn’t see any bands but I had an amaaaazing falafel.’
Make sure you plan ahead for your journey to the Picnic and allow yourself plenty of time to get to the festival site. If heavy rain is forecast on the day you’re heading down, this will probably mean more people taking their cars which will add to delays. If you are leaving after work on the Friday, keep in mind that there will also be rush hour traffic to deal with which will slow you down.
You are too blessed to be stressed out by traffic jams though. Our AA Routeplanner is fed live traffic information from AA Roadwatch so you can see what the traffic is like on your route plus any incidents that may add to your journey time. Keep an eye on it and our Twitter feed @AARoadwatch but, of course, not while driving.
On the M7, both northbound and southbound traffic can exit at J16 Portlaoise East towards Broomfield R/A and onto the Stradbally Rd before following signage. Northbound traffic can also exit at J17 Portlaoise Centre and follow the signs.
From the M8 northbound, motorists can exit at J3 Rathdowney (Abbeyleix) and follow signage through Ballacolla, Abbeyleix, Ballyroan and onto the site.
On the N80 via Carlow, travel straight to Stradbally. Motorists can also travel to the event via the Stradbally/Athy Rd (R428). All routes leading to designated parking areas for the event are clearly signposted and festival-goers are urged to follow these routes to avoid unnecessary delay and traffic disruption. Gardaí will be on point duty.
Parking is free at the festival. Exact locations for parking and directions will be available here nearer the time.
There is a disabled access campsite at EP with dedicated stewards providing 24-hour cover. More info here.
Bus transport will be available from a variety of operators:
On the Friday, Marathon Coaches will leave from 3Arena and George’s Quay in Dublin, with departures starting at 7:30am. On Saturday and Sunday, buses will leave from George’s Quay at 10am, 11am and 12pm. Buses will return every hour between 8pm on Sunday and 2pm on Monday. Single tickets will be available to purchase on the day at the stop for €15. They say that no pre-booking is necessary but if you do wish to book ahead, you can.
Kelly Travel will provide weekend trips and day trips to and from the Picnic from Limerick (via Nenagh and Roscrea), from Cork (via Mitchelstown and Cahir) and from Tipperary (via Cashel). Book online, by calling 061 384422 or by email.
Bus Éireann will be running frequent services from Dublin to Stradbally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with return buses on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Full details are here, or by phone on 1850 836 611, 8:30am to 6pm daily.
Portlaoise is the closest station to the festival, and a shuttle bus will run between there and the site, operated by Martleys. It costs €5 each way and no booking is required. To check train times and scheduled rail works, visit the Irish Rail website.
AA Patrols will be on standby in the Stradbally area over the weekend, ready to deal with festival breakdowns. AA Membership is available for as little as €8.25 per month and offers 24/7 emergency cover so while your new wellies may get stuck in the mud, your car won’t. See here for more.