Major tailbacks are continuing on the way to Electric Picnic, as the festival kicks off amid warnings of possible flooding this weekend.
The AA’s live traffic map shows heavy congestion on both the Rathmore Road and the N80 between Portlaoise and Stradbally.
Traffic is still heavy on the slip road leading to Portlaoise off the N7, with gardaí directing road users. Earlier today motorists reported it took over an hour to travel just 5km along the route.
Dublin festival goers are also facing long tailbacks on the M50. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper on the north and south side, between junctions five and 12, including the N4 and N7 turnoffs.
Emergency services are currently at the scene of six-vehicle collision on the M50 southbound, at junction 9. A spokesperson for Dublin Fire Brigade said: “The hard shoulder and auxiliary lane are affected with severe delays on approach.”
It comes as singer Denise Chalia will be the first act to play the Electric Picnic main stage at 7pm this evening.
The Limerick artist will be followed by Glass Animals and Megan Three Stallion, before Irish superstar Dermot Kennedy completes the first night’s set list at 11pm.
At the same Kennedy is wowing fans at the main stage, Fontaines D.C. will play the Electric Arena. The Dublin band will come on after Pixies, WIllow and Bright Eyes.
On a damper note, festival goers are in for a washout as Met Éireann has issued a status yellow rain warning for the weekend. The warning will run from 9pm on Saturday night until 12pm on Sunday afternoon.
Met Éireann have said there is a chance of localised flooding at the festival and forecaster Matthew Martin said “it’s bad timing”.
"It's really going to deteriorate later this evening and tonight - and then the weekend is looking quite wet at times.
Video of the Day
"Whilst there's going to be heavy rain at times, there are going to be decent dry periods as well.
"So it's not all bad - but there is that possibility that there could be some localised flooding.
"It certainly is not ideal conditions,” Mr Martin told Newstalk Breakfast.
On Friday, outbreaks of rain will push in from the west during the day, turning heavier over the western half of the country in the afternoon. The east will have a mix of showers and sunny spells before rain arrives in the evening.
The national forecaster said low pressure near Ireland will bring showers and longer spells of rain throughout the weekend, and it is likely to be heavy at times in some areas. Highest temperatures will range between the mid to high teens and winds will be generally light to moderate.
So, pack the wet gear and hope for the best.
Road closures and traffic info
If you are crazy enough to be driving to the Picnic, rather than getting public transport, there are multiple road closures and diversions in place.
Traffic is beginning to build on the approaches to the festival, with diversions in place until 3pm on Monday, September 5.
The R427 from Money Cross to Stradbally will be closed completely to facilitate the traffic management plan for the Electric Picnic.
M7 Southbound (from Dublin and the North)
Event car traffic should exit the M7 at Ballydavis Interchange Junction 16, according to organisers. Follow event traffic signage and Garda on duty will direct you to the designated parking areas.
M7 Northbound (Limerick and the South West)
Continue on M7 and exit at Junction 17.
M8 Northbound (Cork and South)
Exit the M8 at Junction 3 for Ballacolla and Abbeyleix.
N80 Carlow & South East
Travel along the N80 and N78 to Simmons Mills and proceed via the Windy Gap into Stradbally. Turn left at Court Square (opposite Dunne’s pub) onto the Timahoe Road and turn left into the designated car park.
Travel via Mountmellick and onto Portlaoise Town. At Fairgreen Roundabout turn right onto the ring road. Continue to Mountrath Road R445 and turn right. Continue to Rockdale Roundabout and turn left onto the Ring Road L26964-0. Turn right at the Roundabout onto the N77 to Meelick Junction where traffic route merges with event traffic from M7 Northbound and Limerick South West.