Monday 20 November 2017

Gourmet food, seaweed baths and the Ireland game - Body & Soul festival really does have something for everyone

Body and Soul Credit: Amy Mulvaney
Body and Soul Credit: Amy Mulvaney
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

It may only be in its seventh year, but Body & Soul has quickly become one of Ireland’s greatest and most successful festivals.

With music acts, performers, comedy, countless variations of food and drink, as well as places to just sit and relax – there’s truly something for everyone of every age at Body & Soul.

Body and Soul Credit: Amy Mulvaney
Body and Soul Credit: Amy Mulvaney

The festival began on Friday and was in full swing by noon on Saturday. The campsites transformed into seas of tents, filled with people who, despite age, race or gender, are all there for the same purpose – to have a good time. 

Located on the grounds of Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath, there is something new around every corner. 

If you’re looking to relax, the Sanctuary offers massages, in Solas you’ll find seaweed baths and hot tubs, as well as the opportunity to do yoga and feel-good hula in various workshops. The Lighthouse cinema screened Purple Rain and Labyrinth on Friday night, adding another dimension to the already diverse selection of offerings.

Of course, the selection of artists who perform at Body & Soul epitomize what the festival is all about. From Brian Deady’s soulful performance on the Main Stage to sing-along guilty-pleasures, the variety of music being played throughout the festival is vast. 

Unlike the dodgy single of chips that is usually associated with festivals, Body & Soul is as much a food-lover’s festival as it is a music-lover’s. Both healthy and indulgent options are available, including nibbles from The Happy Pear to generously-sized burgers made before your eyes. 

Much to the delight of Ireland fans, the Ireland vs Belguim Euro 2016 game was shown in the Midnight Circus Tent and despite the 3-0 defeat, spirits remained high.

Keeping the festival family-friendly, there’s an entire area dedicated for children. Soul Kids features a playground, private entertainment and a festival especially for the little ones. 

The Vodafone Comedy tent was home to The Rubberbandits on Friday, with Al Porter and Damian Clarke among the stellar lineup set to perform on Sunday.

Headlining the Absolut Stage is Lucent Dossier Experience, which includes a cirque-inspired show featuring aerial artists and dancers. 

Most noticeable at Body & Soul, however, is the atmosphere created by festival-goers. Everybody comes together to enjoy good food, good music and to have a good time, if even it’s just for one weekend. 

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