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What do you get for your Electric Picnic campervan pass…?

What do you get for your Electric Picnic campervan pass…?

You don’t get much for your one hundred bucks electric picnic campervan pass other than a place to park up – and it’s nowhere near the festival action or stage arenas.

I’m a big Electric Picnic fan.

Even though it takes place just down the road from us here, it seems like a million miles away, now more than ever.

We could walk across the fields to it, wouldn’t that be great, in our bare feet. It’s only a few fields away; a few fields with hay and silage bales and you’re there, right at the front door of the Electric Picnic. It’s right here on our doorstep in lovely Laois, the home of the Picnic. The Picnic.

The best festival in Europe, we say. Our Glastonbury. It doesn’t get any better than the Picnic on a romantic day or a raunchy night. Oh, and then there’s the music…

The hay is saved. The round bales are showing off in the stubble fields. But we’re not done with summer yet. There’s one last dance. This is the last of the summer wine. We will rock you, we will rock’n’roll you in the shadow of the Rock of Dunamaise and Windy Gap.

The detractors and moaners debate about the line-up may swirl around the pubs back in Town but inside the walls of Stradbally Hall that noise will be drowned out to the strains of summer, the rights of passage, the hankering to dance these magic days to standstill, until we surrender and can stand no more. The Picnic packed away with all our other great memories and stories to tell for another year.

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In many ways the music doesn’t matter so much, in the same way that the ploughing isn’t really centre stage or the big attraction for most at the Ploughing Championships. We are here for the day. The day out. To get away. For a roll in the hay. If someone wants to play a few tunes in the background, all the better.

You can imagine the excitement then when we finally managed to score a campervan pass. We had our festival tickets, which already stand you €250 each and now we had managed to secure the much sought after Campervan Pass in the online scramble that sees them snapped up each year in a matter of minutes.

The previous year we had failed to get a campervan pass for love or money and had to settle to park the van in one of the regular car parks. It worked fine.

Sure it was a bit of a trek back to the van each time but it meant we had a safe, secure place to sleep and stay, wouldn’t have to queue hours for taxis to get home in the dead of night and even store a few cold beers in the campervan fridge. The biggest drawback it seemed was the distance from the festival site proper and missing out on the buzz and being in the heart of the action.

So when we landed the elusive Campervan Pass in 2019 we were thrilled. This would be our best Picnic ever.

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EP Camping 1
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EP Camping

However, it didn’t turn out that way unfortunately…

What do you get for your €100 Campervan Pass at the Electric Picnic? Very little as it turns out, other than a place to park up.

The Campervan parking is just as far away from the EP stages as any of the other car parks, so there’s no advantage or benefit in that regard. The Campervan area is on the edge of all the other general camping zones with all the usual problems and free-for-all mayhem that goes with that. In fact it couldn’t be any further away from the music and action as it’s located on the periphery of the festival site, as is clearly illustrated on the map below. Everyone from all the other areas were free to roam the campervan parking lot and so this led to issues of safety and security. It wasn’t comfortable.

Sure, it was a base and groups of fans were using it as that and that’s fine. A base with a campervan instead of with a tent.

The toilets were for the entire campsite area and soon became over run and unusable, not to mention the lengthy queues; there was only one water point which regularly ran dry and the chemical cassette disposal area was a health hazard after day one and completely unusable – I’ll spare you the grizzly details…

For the record, there was no electric hook up either at the Electric Picnic.

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electric picnic campervan ireland
EP Loo Q

The vehicles were parked on top of each other and with the toilets either blocked, overflowing or queues back into Stradbally, public urination up against the vans was the order of the day. We were better off the year we stayed over in the car park.

For €100 on top of your festival ticket you’d expect a whole lot more. The campsites themselves were chaotic, the campervan parking area not a whole pile better.

What do you get for your €100 EP Campervan Pass? The answer is, a place to park, so don’t sweat if you don’t get one. You’re not missing a whole pile.

SEE ALSO: 25 tips to help make you a Happy Camper

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electric picnic

About The Author

John Whelan

John Whelan is a vastly experienced midlands based journalist and editor who has contributed extensively to the country's leading national and regional titles, as well as broadcast outlets. He runs the media services company, Communicate Ireland John is a keen camping and campervan enthusiast with an interest in music, culture, heritage and outdoor pursuits. He has written for the Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and the Woman's Way on these topics. He is also an author, and his latest book, The Last Beekeeper, reflects his love of nature, the landscape and our shared responsibility to protect the environment. The Last Beekeeper is available to preview and purchase at Safe travels...

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