Tuesday 16 October 2018

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among 15,000 to descend on Body & Soul

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with from left; Nicky Cribbin, Drumcondra, Joanna Markowska, Kildare and Emma Greene Kildare at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pictured with from left; Nicky Cribbin, Drumcondra, Joanna Markowska, Kildare and Emma Greene Kildare at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Jack Montgomery, Wicklow and Sharon Keane, Waterford pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ciara Coyle and Ciara Gavin, Galway pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Enjoying the sun at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Bryan Traynor, Punchestown and Ella O’Neill, Lacken, Co. Wicklow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Alica Fallon, Milltown pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Debora De Paula, Brazil pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ollie Kenny, Cork, Vanecia Prenderville, Kerry and Gerard O’Connor, Carlow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ailish Smyth pictured enjoying the Summer Sun at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ailish Smyth pictured enjoying the Summer Sun at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

Ryan Nugent

THE sun might not be why 15,000 festival-goers hit Body & Soul every year – but it certainly helps.

Some were fresh and others less from the partying of last night – but they all at least had sun on their backs, as the festival’s second day got going in scorching conditions.

Even Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar popped in for a couple of hours.

As is always the case with Ballinlough Castle on this weekend, colour, glitter, funny head-wear and some odd-looking goggles are go-to attire.

Alica Fallon, Milltown pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Alica Fallon, Milltown pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan

But it’s not particularly difficult to do, according to Hannah Fitzsimons (23) from Kildare, who’d gone all out with the above gear.

And on her first visit to the festival too.

It was inspired by the Pride Parade which takes place this evening.

Describing her clothes, she said it’s “weird sparkly shorts and top, and then a fun tutu, that’s actually a child’s but I put it over my head so it works great, and some funny ears”.

Bryan Traynor, Punchestown and Ella O’Neill, Lacken, Co. Wicklow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Bryan Traynor, Punchestown and Ella O’Neill, Lacken, Co. Wicklow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan

“It just kind of happened, I just went into Tiger and randomly picked some things,” she said.

And at the Westmeath festival, the craic, chilled vibes and great food are as much of a pull as the music.

Ollie Kenny, Cork, Vanecia Prenderville, Kerry and Gerard O’Connor, Carlow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Ollie Kenny, Cork, Vanecia Prenderville, Kerry and Gerard O’Connor, Carlow pictured at The Body and Soul Festival at Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath Photo: Colin O’Riordan

It’s more about coming across some great music by chance, for Brian Traynor (27) and Ella O’Neill (23).

It’s their third year in a row.

“There’s no particularly major acts at it, so you’re not drawn to the stages to often,” Brian said.

Ella added that “you’re not running to Beyonce at 9pm”.

“You just wander throughout the woodlands for example, you hear something you like and you just follow it,” she said.

“You take it as it comes.”

It was a first ever festival for Brazilian, Deborah de Paula, who lives in Dublin.

“It’s amazing, because we have beautiful people, the place is organised, we have security everywhere,” she said, adding that weather conditions more common in her native Brazil were a major bonus.

As for the acts, Booka Brass Band and Connie Keane are expected to draw a big crowd tomorrow, while Fears will stand out in the Woodlands Stage.

Meath comedian, Tommy Tiernan will have queues of people in tomorrow evening.

But if it's not the music or comedy you're into, there's still yoga, meditation and even hot tubs.

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