Sam Boal

Transport, stage times, weather: Here's what you need to know if you're heading to Electric Picnic

Nearly 60,000 people are set to descend upon Stradbally in Laois for the biggest event of the Irish festival calendar.


Between today and Sunday, nearly 60,000 festival-goers will flock to Stradbally, Co Laois for this year’s Electric Picnic.

This year’s headline acts include Florence & her Machine, The Strokes (THE STROKES!!!), The 1975, Christine and the Queens while there’s a strong local feel to the lineup, with Irish acts Hozier, Dermot Kennedy and Roisín Murphy all featuring prominently on the bill.

Meanwhile, the Comedy Tent, Mindfield and the Theatre of Food all return for the festival’s 16th year, offering plenty for those who want to take a break from the main acts.

Getting there

With the first music act due on stage at 6pm, festival organisers are urging people to leave early on Friday morning.

If you’re planning to take public transport, there are plenty of options, although you might want to hurry to get your ticket.

If you’re going from Dublin, Bus Éireann are operating a number of services departing from Custom House Quay.

Marathon Travel are running a service from the 3Arena on North Wall Quay, which will cost €30 if you haven’t booked in advance.

Trains are also running to Portlaoise Station, from Limerick, Cork and Dublin, with a Martleys shuttle bus operating every half an hour from the station to Stradbally for €5 each way.

For those driving, extra traffic can be expected around Portlaoise, the AA has said, and on the N80 through Stradbally throughout the weekend.

As you near the festival site, car parks will be clearly signposted, so simply follow the signage.

Motorists travelling through Kildare on the M7 are advised that three lanes are now open on the motorway between J8 Johnstown and J11 M9.

However, the speed limit is still at 80km on that stretch.

If coming from the south-east, works on the N80 near the Carlow-Wexford county bounds at Bunclody could slow you down.

For live traffic updates throughout the day, keep an eye on the AA Roadwatch Newsroom online and on Twitter

An Garda Síochána in Laois-Offaly also have a traffic plan in place to keep everyone moving. 

Stage times

Whether it’s the main stage, Casa Bacardi or the Salty Dog, Clashfinder is dead handy for mapping out just who you want to see and on what stage they’ll be playing. 



Unlike last year’s heatwave, the weather for Electric Picnic 2019 looks set to be a mixed bag.

Friday night will be “very wet” across Leinster, Met Éireann has forecast. However, Saturday will bring bright and sunny spells with highest temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees.

Sunday will be cool with scattered showers and temperatures between 14 and 17 degrees. 

All in all, you’d regret forgetting that rain jacket. 

So, what else?

Earlier this week, festival organisers did their annual site tour with the media with Electric Boss Melvin Benn at pains to warn people about drugs and impress upon them to take their tents away at the end of the weekend. 

Organisers have warned festival-goers that they will face “vigorous” drug searches when attending the annual event this weekend. 

“Illegal drugs are illegal for specific reasons and that’s principally because they’re dangerous. What’s in the drugs, people don’t know and we urge people not to take drugs,” Benn said.

Talks are currently underway between the HSE and organisations that could provide drug-testing at festivals as calls grow for harm-reduction measures at music events. 

Finally, the sight of muddied, abandoned tents has become a Monday afternoon mainstay at Electric Picnic. 

Once again, festival organisers are encouraging revelers to take their tent with them. 

“Not enough people have been listening,” Benn said this week. “This year I’ve really pushed that message. Take your tent away.”

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