Electric Picnic 2019: Travel, tickets, brand new site map and everything else you need to know
All the practical information you need ahead of a weekend at Electric Picnic...
Everything you need to know from how to get there to where to charge your mobile phone to when you can bring your own cans into the arena...
Are there any tickets?
Electric Picnic 2019 has been sold out for months so the short answer, unfortunately, is no. If you do opt to buy from a third party it's a risk. Festival Director Melvin Benn told assembled press on Tuesday that the organisers have been contacted by people who bought tickets at hugely inflated prices only to subsequently find out they were fake.
And they're the people who find out in advance - don't be the person who turns up to the gates of EP only to be refused entry at the final hurdle. It happens every year. The organisers have compiled a handy guide to avoiding and recognising fake tickets here.
How to get to Stradbally...
If you're travelling by car, see below. You can also bus it with Bus Eireann from Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork, or Marathon Coaches who will be operating services from Northwall Quay in Dublin. TravelMaster also have more than 50 pickup points nationwide. Various coach services are in operation nationwide. All details can be found here.
You can also get the train to Portlaoise Train Station where there will be a Martleys shuttle bus service to EP running every half hour or so (it's €5 return) from Thursday to Monday - find out specific times here.
Travelling by car...
Picknickers who are driving to Stradbally are advised to leave early and allow plenty of time for the journey, particularly if you're pitching a tent ahead of the festival kicking off with David Keenan on stage at 6pm and Billie Eilish following at 7.30pm.
Aisling Bonner of AA Roadwatch says, “Extra traffic can be expected around Portlaoise, and on the N80 through Stradbally throughout the weekend. As you near the festival site, carparks will be clearly signposted, so follow signage rather than your sat nav."
Motorists travelling through Kildare on the M7 should bear in mind that three lanes are now open on the motorway between J8 Johnstown and J11 M9 but the speed limit is still 80km on that stretch.
If coming from the south-east, works on the N80 near the Carlow/Wexford county bounds at Bunclody may slow you down.
For live traffic updates throughout the day, keep an eye on the AA Roadwatch Newsroom online (www.TheAA.ie/Newsroom) and @aaroadwatch on Twitter.”
The local Garda Síochána in Laois-Offaly have their usual traffic plan in place to keep everyone moving and you can view it here.
Laois-Offaly Garda Inspector Eamonn Curley adds, “We would ask people to follow the directions of Gardaí and stewards, that they follow signage for event and that they do not use sat nav.
"For more information please see Garda Síochána Laois Offaly on Facebook or follow the hashtag, #GardaSíochánaLaoisOffaly.”
Do I need to bring cash?
Yes. The good news this year is that the ATM queues (and possibly the bar queues) should be shorter thanks to the fact that 60 per cent of vendors (including all bars) will offer contactless.
However, you will need to bring cash for the 40 per cent who don't. Keep it on your person or in a locker (available in the Jimi Hendrix and Oscar Wilde campsites - you can book in advance here) and don't leave it under the air mattress in your tent. That goes for anything you don't want to lose.
What does the new arena layout look like?
Here's the brand new site map for 2019:
Can I bring my own alcohol into the arena?
Not before 1am. This year the main arena has been extended into the woods to accommodate the sprawling new area of Freetown. This area would have previously been the old Late Night Arena where you could drink your own cans during the day. This is no longer the case - you can only drink cans there after 1am when the license for the main arena closes (and only up to four cans per person).
"It's not a huge walk to wherever you are camping if you want to go back and have your cans of beer or whatever else," said Festival Director Melvin Benn this week. "Change always has consequences and I think what we're doing is a real positive change to the Electric Picnic and I think people will become familiar with it and accept it."
He also pointed out that even though some campsites have technically moved further away on a map, the arena size has also increased and moved closer to the campsites.
What will the weather be like?
Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow rainfall warning for 10 counties, but it looks like Laois might just escape the worst of it.
The warning affects Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Donegal, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick and is active from 6am on Friday until 6am on Saturday morning.
Most of the country will be hit by rain today although it will be persistent and heavy in the west and north while the east and south will escape with just a few outbreaks of rain, so Stradbally shouldn't be too bad. Hightest temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees.
However there will be heavy rain in all areas for a time tonight but it will clear and become drier again from the west with lowest temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees.
Saturday will be a brighter day with sunshine and showers. Highest temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees in moderate, occasionally fresh westerly breezes.
Electric Picnic organisers advise festival-goers to pack both sunscreen and rain gear.
Where can I charge my phone?
You can buy a 3 Power Bank from Three in the Jimi Hendrix Campsite (where you'll also find the showers and lockers for valuables) and obviously if you're driving you can use your car charger (just don't run out of petrol/diesel or give yourself a flat battery. It happens).
What else do I need to know?
There's a big push towards sustainability this year including a ban on single use plastics for vendors and punters. So, you can't bring water bottles on to the site. Bring a reusable cup or purchase one in the arena.
If you do bring a tent, bring it home with you. It doesn't have to be packed up perfectly, it just has to be packed up. If you lugged it in, you can lug it out again, or drag it along the ground, or use whatever means it takes to get it off the campsite. In fact, the campsites are zero waste campsites so not only must you take your tent, but all your other belongings. If you do have broken tents, gazebos, chairs etc you can bring them to the Salvage & Recycling Points.
Also, all your rubbish must be deposited in the recycling bins.
Finally, if you can't survive without a decent Sunday lunch there are still a handful of places left at The Banquet with food provided by Tesco and mouth-watering menu curated by the wonderful Derry Clarke who gives up his time and creativity for the charity endeavour every year to raise funds for Temple Street and Pieta House. It's €120 for a stunning four course meal and you can book here.
For more information check out the Electric Picnic website www.electricpicnic.ie