Heading to Electric Picnic – are you and your car festival-ready?

With Electric Picnic kicking off on Friday we have some tips for safe festival motoring writes Geraldine Herbert


Is your car ready? 

Make sure your car is up to the job so check the following

  • check the oil
  • check the tyre pressure
  • check all fluid levels
  • fill up the tank
  • check your spare tyre

Before you set off

  • Plan your route and journey time before you set off – if you know where you’re going, you’ll avoid the added stress of an unexpected detour on the day.
  • Take a flashing bike light or torch with you. Also ensure to pack a portable charger or two as you’re probably going to be using your phone a lot more than usual.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle. Any bags you need to take with you should be packed securely into the boot to avoid obstructing your view.
  • Take some water and snacks in case you do hit festival traffic hot spots
  • Remember any extra weight will increase fuel consumption – do you really need that extra pair of wellies?
  • Get a good playlist for the journey on the way so it’s probably worth giving a bit of research (but not too much) into the current line-up.

Arriving by Car on Thursday

M7 Northbound / Southbound & M8

Arriving Thursday 29th August – M7 Northbound / Southbound and M8. Take Junction 16 Ballydavis, Portlaoise and proceed onto the R445 (Old Dublin Road). Turn left onto the R425. Continue straight through the Roundabout at Bloomfield Cross. Keep left at the fork to continue on the R426. Turn left on to the R427 signposted Stradbally. Continue on the R427 and follow signage and direction of the Garda to the Green Car Parks.

N80 Carlow & South East

Travel along the N80 and N78 to Simmons Mills and proceed via the Windy Gap into Stradbally. Continue through the town to the Green Car Parks.

N80 West

Turn right at Bloomfield Cross Roundabout onto the R425. Keep left at the fork to continue on the R426. Turn left on to the R427 signposted Stradbally. Continue on the R427 and follow signage and direction of the Garda to the Green Car Parks.

Where to Park?

  • All approved routes leading to designated parking areas for the event are clearly sign posted so follow these routes to avoid unnecessary delay and traffic disruption.
  • Parking is free at the festival. Ticket holders can park in the Red Car Parks on the Abbeyleix Road, the Green Car Parks off the N80 and the Yellow Car Park on the Timahoe Road. Day Ticket holders parking is provided in the Green Car Parks. Family Weekend ticket holders can park their cars in the designated Family Car Park located in Stradbally town.
  • These car parks allow access to all general camping areas. Please follow the direction of the Garda, and signage to avoid further delays to both yourself and other festival goers. All patrons attending the event by car are required to park within the car parks directed to by event staff and Gardaí. These car parks will be selected in line with the route travelled to the event. Compliance with car parking staff and Gardaí is essential to the efficient management of the car parks and will result in festival goers reaching the event as soon as possible.
  • There is no designated car park for Pink Moon camping. You can park in any of the public car parks, so please follow the event signage and direction of the Gardaí. You will be able to access the Boutique and Pink Moon camping areas internally within the event site via any of the general camping entrances and wristband exchanges.
  • The pick-up and drop off point for the festival is located at Green Car Parks Z, located off the N80. This is also the drop off and pick up point for taxis, minibuses and private coaches.

When do car parks open?

  • Entry for Early Entry Ticket Holders is from 4pm on Thursday, 29th August 2019 until midnight on Thursday, 29th August.
  • General Campervan and Family Campervan site will open at 4pm on Thursday, 29th August 2018 and will close at 1pm Monday, 2nd September 2019.
  • General Campsite and Family Campsite will open at 9am Friday, 29th August 2019 and will close at 1pm Monday, 2nd September 2019.


Don’t forget

  • Lock up your vehicle and put your car keys in a very secure place which you’re not likely to forget about and they won’t fall out of.
  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your car  – including sat navs, car stereos, cameras, CDs or mobile phones
  • Leave your glove compartment empty and open so that thieves can see they have nothing to break in for.
  • Make a note of where you have parked, trying to find a car amongst the thousands parked can be a nightmare.


Setting off for  home

  • Prepare to have your patience tested, as thousands leave the campsites delays are inevitable.
  • Rain, a constant feature of our Irish weather, can quickly turn a field full of cars into a slippery, muddy bog so if this happens try not to spin the wheels so set off  in second gear, not first and  use the accelerator  gently. Get as many people out of the car as you can, and if possible as much other weight. You can also try cardboard placed in front of the driven wheels to help aid traction or car mats can be used as a last resort!. Once you get moving try to maintain momentum and stay moving.
  • Though you may not have had anything to drink that morning, you may still be over the limit from the night before.
  • And you’re likely to be tired, so ensure you grab breakfast and a coffee before hitting the road.


Stay safe and enjoy!


Geraldine Herbert

28th August, 2019


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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