Monday 19 August 2019

'Total gridlock' - Revellers leaving All Together Now face further delays as traffic chaos hits festival for second time

Revellers reported waits of over two hours to leave the campsite this morning

Festival goers faced further delays as they left All Together Now
Festival goers faced further delays as they left All Together Now
02/08/2019. All Together Now festival at Curraghmore, Co Waterford are Sara Hurley and Aoife McCabe from Dublin . Picture: Patrick Browne.
02/08/2019. All Together Now festival at Curraghmore, Co Waterford are Tasha Milne in front with, Simon Bastable, Rose O’Sullivan, Chris Murphy-O’Connor and Ali Milne Cork & Dublin . Picture: Patrick Browne.

Niamh Lynch

TRAFFIC chaos hit the All Together Now festival in Waterford for a second time, as revellers faced delays of over two hours leaving the car park this morning.

Over 20,000 tickets were sold for the three day event, with a line-up that included The National, Patti Smith, and Hot Chip.

After the festival came to a close on Sunday night, those driving home from the Curraghmore Estate in Ardmore this morning faced lengthy delays, with some people saying it took them over two hours to leave the car park.

AA announced changes to exit routes for the festival today, with those collecting festival goers asked to wait at the nearby Portlaw village.

Festival-goer Ronan Fahey said that the traffic was “dismal” when leaving the campsite. “For some reason they didn't have people directing traffic at all the crucial junctions - only at a couple - which I can't understand given how bad it was on Friday.

“To their credit, it sped up when they opened up a second exit route after being pressed to do so by a determined woman. But she should never have had to complain as much as she did to get them to do something so obvious. Really disappointing traffic management.”

02/08/2019. All Together Now festival at Curraghmore, Co Waterford are Sara Hurley and Aoife McCabe from Dublin . Picture: Patrick Browne.
02/08/2019. All Together Now festival at Curraghmore, Co Waterford are Sara Hurley and Aoife McCabe from Dublin . Picture: Patrick Browne.

“People were getting cranky and more and more were getting out of their cars to talk to staff members. All in all, it took us over an hour to move around one kilometre and leave the car park. I feel sorry for anyone with kids who had to sit through that,” said Ronan.

Meanwhile, Shannan Walsh said that she had been sitting in the car park traffic for almost two hours, with many festival-goers getting frustrated and beeping horns.

“It’s a bit frustrating, considering they knew how Friday went, that there doesn't seem to be a traffic management plan for today,” said Shannan.

Emma Morris from Kildare said that “it was total gridlock”.

“We got to the car at 10am, and we were on the road at 10.45am. We’re lucky that we weren’t at the back, but if you were I’d say you would be there for a few hours.

“You had to get a bit cheeky and skip people to get out in time, which I really hate doing. There was one guy managing the one car wide exit for the entirety of the blue camp.”

Emma also reported that there was no signage in the blue car park, one of two car parks at the festival. “[I] totally get that they’re a new festival but it’s basic road management for 20,000 people arriving.”

Another reveller from Cork said: “[I’ve] been in the car this morning for nearly two hours and we have moved all of 100 ft at best.”

“The lack of organisation is terrible. It’s chaos in the car park trying to get out and all we can see is two workers trying to sort everything out,” he said.

“Definitely a lack of funding invested into the traffic arrangements.”

However, those availing of public transport or who had gathered in Portlaw reported no delays.

Independent.ie has contacted All Together Now for a comment.

They shared a message this evening on the festival's official Facebook account, where they acknowledged the traffic disruptions attendees faced.

They said: "You, the people, performers, volunteers, artists, creators, and rebels - it's you who make this festival very special. For a lot of you, this journey started with long delays.

"We understand the frustration this caused and it was far from how we wanted this weekend to start together.

"We have to make this right, and we will. You endured not just traffic but testing weather at times over the weekend, while the atmosphere and spirit remained truly amazing.

"You were respectful of each other, of the beautiful landscape and all our wonderful performers - even wasps couldn't ruin your buzz."

Some attendees called for a refund after hectic traffic and long queues caused many to miss the Friday night line-up.

Organisers for the festival, which is in its second year, responded on Friday with a statement saying that they were “aware” of the issue:

“As people will see when they get here, the Curraghmore Estate is one of the most beautiful and unique festival sites in the world. We have the pleasure of curating a festival on this incredible landscape, but with that comes challenges.

“We have encouraged people to use Bus Eireann services, train services and car-pooling systems, to reduce the numbers of cars on the road,” the statement read.

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