Picnic Starts With Traffic Jam

The opening night of Electric Picnic was marred by traffic jams around the Irish site, although Declan Forde of organisers Pod Concerts says it wasn’t as bad as the Irish media suggested.

Reports in Irish Independent, whose arts editor Sophie Gorman claims to have been stuck in traffic for nearly seven hours, say the roads were gridlocked for 10 miles around the Stradbally site.

The problem stemmed from the fact that many people set off around the same time – between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. – and then faced a bottleneck when they got to Portlaoise.

Forde said the Independent’s seven-hour jam is an exaggeration but did admit some fans missed the Friday night performances, the second time this summer that an Irish audience thousands strong has seemingly arrived at the venue at the same time.

In July, bad weather exacerbated the traffic congestion on the M50 and neighbouring motorways as 17,000 fans headed toward MCD’s Barbra Streisand show at Castletown House, Co. Kildare.

The fourth Electric Picnic (August 31 to September 2) sold its 32,500 three-day tickets four-and-a-half months in advance, about eight weeks quicker than in 2006.

When it started in 2004, it was a one-dayer with a 15,000 capacity. In 2005, it grew to two days with a 25,000 capacity.

Pod, which has a 70 percent share of the event, co-owns it and co-produces it with Aiken Promotions.

The acts causing traffic jams midway between Dublin and Limerick included Bjork, Chemical Brothers, Sonic Youth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Iggy & The Stooges, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers, and The Good, The Bad & The Queen.