Entertainment Festivals

Sunday 21 September 2014

Hot tubs and tree-hugging prove popular on day two of Body & Soul

Eimear Phelan

Published 21/06/2014 | 18:44

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Emma Byrne from Wexford and Mark Dixon from Dublin hugging a tree at Body & Soul Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath
Emma Byrne from Wexford and Mark Dixon from Dublin hugging a tree at Body & Soul Festival
Suzanne Beardsley from Dublin and Dave Conway from Meath
Catherine Kerry with daughter Fern (3)

The Body & Soul collective woke up to a bright and sunny morning, poised for day two of the three-day festival.

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Last night almost two thousand excited festival goers had their first taste of open-air fun and frolics with Darkside headlining.

It seemed like everyone made an appearance at the main stage for the dance duo and they were the main topic of discussion amongst a satisfied crowd this morning.

The weather thankfully stayed fine with no rain although the temperature did drop quite a few degrees overnight, not that anyone was complaining.

The summer solstice means extended daylight, but once darkness fell at Body & Soul last night, the art installations scattered throughout the site really come to light. There were butterflies, birds and even trees that hug you back. Many were twinkling with lighting effects or UV making the experience very surreal.

Music-wise there a few acts playing last night but the majority play today and Sunday.  Goldfrapp is the name on everyone's lips but John Grant nad John Graham are likely to pull impressive numbers too.

Long queues for the showers this morning did nothing to dampen the spirits of revellers who are still fresh faced and poised for Saturday night and Sunday.

Sorcha Doyle, Lee Gilbert, and Jamie O'Connor
Sorcha Doyle, Lee Gilbert, and Jamie O'Connor

Festival-goer Jamie O'Connor is still reeling from a great set from Darkside last night.  He says, "It was brilliant.  It was quality. The rave in the forest was really good too!".

Jamie's friend Lee Gilbert, from London, adds, "The vibe was really good last night."

Sarah Doyle is also a fan of the vibe at Body & Soul: "I just really like the atmosphere.  All the kids and families and stuff is pretty sweet.  Everyone is relaly friendly down here.

Both Jamie and Sarah are gearing up for Goldfrapp.  Sarah adds, "Caribou tomorrow is gonna be great too, really excited about that."

Ray McNally managed to make it to Darkside despite babysitting duties.

Orla McNally from Westport and Aidan Nee from Connemara at Body & Soul Festival

"I couldn't believe there were only two guys on stage," he says.  "The amount of noise and music they were producing for two people was pretty amazing.

"My wife is working at the festival so I  am a glorified baby sitter for the weekend.  [The children] love it. They can't wait to get up in the morning and don't want to go to bed at night."

Ray plans to see King Kong Club too.

Jonathan Argue from Clare is at Body & Soul with his son Fionn and they're making the most of the music.

Dave Conway and Suzanne Beardsley with friends in the hot tub at Body & Soul

"We saw about six different bands last night," says Jonathan.  "We're looking forward to a guy named John Graham who's playing today.  We've never heard him but we're told he's amazing so we are very much looking forward to that.

"That's one of the nice things about it, there are so many opportunities to do great stuff. Not only the live music but all the activities and all the art installations are really incredible."

Friends Orla McNally from Westport and Aidan Nee from Connemara are also massive music fans. 

"The silent disco was really good. That was great," says Orla, adding, "There's a good few bands on today.  Jape are really good. They were only announced like the other day. They're deadly.  Looking forward to Young Wonder and Ali Farben too."

Aidan says, "Darkside was really busy but it was nice to have that layout. It was on the slope so even if you were far back you could still see the stage and stuff.  I'm looking forward to Young Wonder definitely.  They are like a young Irish band as well so it's good to support."

Leah Quigly and Fiona Swan from Dublin, on the other hand, didn't see much music last night.

"There wasn't that much music I think last night," says Leah, "We went to My Home in the forest, but I think John Hopkinds will be good tonight."

Fiona adds, "Took it relatively handy last night. Just kind of exploring a bit. Booked a hot tub tomorrow. We hung out on the swing for a while. I fell off the swing actually!"

Ciaran Sweeney and Sarah Conlen also explored on Friday night.

"I think we just wandered around last night, took a test of everything so we didn't stick to any main area because we wanted to enjoy the most of it," says Ciaran.

"The art is absolutely brilliant! And its nice to see some of the old stuff that was here last year as well. It's all located differently which is quite cool because it sets a different kind of platform for the repeat customers.

"We've nothing major in particular planned.  Just pretty much the atmosphere and to soak up everything. We love every type of music that plays here so we don't really prefer one or the other. I'ts not all about the music, it's about everything else."

Catherine Kerry has been hanging out with her 3-year-old daughter Fern.

"Last night we just walked around really and went to the big tent and Fern loved jumping and partying. We had an early night and let the rest of them carry on."

"We're looking forward to the masquerade ball. We are looking forward to that. She's going to get dressed up as a princess.  A white one."

Unlike most festival-goers, Mark Dixon from Dublin wasn't a fan of Darkside.

"It wasn't very good being honest.  They didn't put any effort into it. But I'm not a huge fan of dance music anyway. But I thought they could have done better. For me John Grant is the big thing. Maybe some Goldfrapp as well.

"I just come here for what it is; great vibe."

Mark's friend Emma Byrne, from Wexford, adds, "It wasn't our scene but the crowd was really good for it. Really good atmosphere and stuff like that so it was good.n  I heard John Hopkins is good as well someone said so I might check him out."

Down at the hot tubs, Dave Conway from Meath, and Suzanne Beardsley from Dublin have nothing but praise for Body & Soul.

"Last night was amazing wasn't it? It was just perfect, perfect," says Dave.  "It's a great festival, they really have done an amazing job. It's improving every year. It really is getting better all the time. It's brilliant. And the fact that it's a tropical day in tropical surroundings, it helps."

Suzanne says, "It's got a real feel good factor about it because they have thought everything through and it's quite green, and you know sustainability is important. Ease the guilt or something you know!"

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