Body & Soul festival 2019: Everything you need to know
What’s on, tickets, weather, restricted items and transport for the summer festival at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath
Body & Soul: a multimedia experience as well as a music festival. Photograph: Allen Kiely
Body & Soul, which starts on Friday and runs until Sunday, is one of a kind: a multimedia experience rather than a plain old music festival. Food, wellbeing, family fun and games, talks, workshops and a sustainability strategy are in the mix, too, and with a capacity of just 10,000 it’s definitely boutique, which suits the surroundings of Ballinlough Castle, in Co Westmeath.
Who is playing?
The music acts include Modeselektor, Kruder & Dorfmeister and The Blaze – plus an Irish line-up that takes in Soak, Just Mustard, Junior Brother, Meltybrains?, Laoise, Whenyoung, Murder Capital, Mango x Mathman, Pillow Queens, Roe, Talos, and Kitt Philippa. Oh, and Thumper. (You can get stage times for the whole festival here.)
There’s also theatre, conversation, spoken word, comedy and podcasts, from Alison Spittle to Waterford Whispers News Live. The Irish Times is hosting panel events and podcasts, from The Breakfast Club (a discussion of climate change with the paper’s food and drink writers Jess Murphy and Sorcha Hamilton, the cookbook author Roz Purcell, and the Irish Times restaurant critic, Catherine Cleary), the Inside Politics podcast (with the feminist unionist Sophie Long, the Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald and the Irish Times journalists Simon Carswell and Hugh Linehan) and the Women’s Podcast (with Tara Flynn, the former Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins, the spoken-word artist Felispeaks, and the Irish Times columnist Kathy Sheridan). Capping off the weekend is a life-spanning interview with the activist Ailbhe Smyth, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, by the Irish Times journalist Hugh Linehan.
What time should I arrive?
From 3pm on Friday. The first festival events kick off after 4pm, although the main stage doesn’t get going until 7.30pm.
How do I get there – and home again?
Public transport is the easiest (and greenest) way to get to Body & Soul, which has teamed up with Bus Éireann to offer festival services on Friday from Dublin (returning on Sunday night or Monday) and from Cork, Galway, Mullingar, Cahir, Limerick, Portlaoise, Waterford and Naas (all returning on Monday).
If you’re driving, Ballinlough Castle lies between Mullingar, in Co Westmeath, and Navan, in Co Meath. Body & Soul says to look out for festival signs as you get close to the site, as satnav and smartphones will take you to the wrong entrance.
Here are three directions to approach the festival from.
- From Mullingar direction
- Take the N52 towards Delvin. In Delvin, turn right on to the N51. Then, at St Patrick’s National School in Crowinstown, turn left on to the L5525.
- From Kells direction
- Take the M3/N3 north past the toll plazas to the N3 Kells roundabout. Take the first exit, for the N52, towards Clonmellon. Stay on the N52 until you reach Delvin, then turning left on to the N51. Then, at St Patrick’s National School in Crowinstown, turn left on to the L5525.
- From Athboy direction
- Take the N51 towards Delvin, but turn right after the Crowinstown Inn on to the L5525.
When does it all end?
The last events finish in the early hours of Monday morning, between 1am and 2am.
Are there any tickets left?
Yes, weekend passes (€209.50 plus €6.85 service fee) and Sunday-only tickets (€75 plus €6.85 service fee) are still available from Ticketbooth, via the festival website. Body & Soul offers the option of paying for half of your ticket now, then paying the balance at the end of July. You should buy tickets only from accredited sources, and you must be at least 20 to buy a ticket (bring photo ID to the festival, too, if your age might be questioned), although two children as old as 12 can come with each ticket-holding adult on a family camping pass. No 13- to 19-year-olds.
What’s the security?
Your name must be on your ticket to enter the festival. If you have bought a ticket but want to give it to a friend, you can transfer it by logging into Ticketbooth and paying a name-change fee.
Each adult with a weekend ticket can bring up to 24 500ml cans of beer, cider or ready-mixed drinks, or one 750ml bottle of spirits, or three bottles of wine, or one 2ltr wine box. (But decant your spirits and wine into plastic bottles before you arrive, as glass is banned.) Allow time for security checks on the way in, and check your ticket for additional banned items.
What’s the weather forecast?
At the moment the forecast is for a dry weekend with some sunshine. It will still be fairly cool, with temperatures reaching only 15 or 16 degrees during the day, and dropping to nine or 10 degrees at night.