Notes on Body&Soul Public Meeting (19/04/18)

The organisers of the annual Body&Soul Festival held an open meeting at the Darnley Lodge Hotel in Athboy on Thursday 19th April. The key points arising from the meeting were as follows:

The Festival

  • Capacity to remain at 15,000.
  • More emphasis to be placed on daytime entertainment – comedy, spoken word etc.
  • Body&Soul is an over 20s event.
  • Each ticket permits one adult and up to 2 children aged under 12 – no teenagers permitted.


  • Access arrangements unchanged.
  • Festival crew, deliveries and performers will be routed from the north of the site from Clonmellon.
  • The general public will be routed through Delvin entering the site via Crowenstown.
  • Separate access to family campsite to stay as it was last year.
  • Arrangements for festival attendees leaving the site on the Monday were heavily criticised and this will be reviewed.
  • A garda representative advised that they did not have sufficient resources to manage outbound traffic.

Resident Needs

  • The festival organisers concede that a number of residents were let down last year and that fencing and other security / privacy provisions were inadequate.
  • A dedicated team has been setup to manage delivery of security fences to those that require them and a deadline of 6pm on Thursday 21st June has been set for these to be in place.
  • If you live in the vicinity of Ballinlough Castle and you require fences to protect your property, please contact Body&Soul ASAP ( and include your Eircode. This will ensure they can order sufficient fencing ahead of the event and have everything in place before the festival opens.
  • Littering was an issue that was highlighted. A resident pointed out that vehicles used to transfer litter from the site had not been covered and that litter was being spread along local routes as they passed through. This matter will be addressed with the contractor.
  • Another resident referred to empty cans and other debris being left outside their home.
  • Each year, a Residents Hotline is operated during the festival. This year the hotline will be managed within the event control unit so a faster response to issues can be delivered. Details of the hotline number will be shared in June.


  • Some security management issues were identified last year and a new company has been brought in to help address these.
  • One resident in attendance highlighted an unacceptable experience at the hands of festival intruders accessing and abusing their property. This issue was not a “one off” and the team were heavily criticised for their historic response to the problems encountered. Avril Stanley gave an assurance that they will get it right this year.
  • If you or a neighbour have experienced similar issues, please contact the team direct ( and include your Eircode in your email.
  • Fence jumpers continue to be a drain on festival resources. 85% of the intruders are from the wider local area – Trim etc.
  • If you live in the vicinity of the festival and you become aware an attempt to force access to the site, please REPORT IT to the gardai or the resident hotline.
  • An allegation was shared that a group of people that were evicted from the site last year were dropped off in Delvin and not brought further afield as they should have been. The team will review how evictees are dealt with.

Community Contribution & Involvement

  • Last year, financial donations were made to two causes – The Eamonn Smyth Benefit Fund and Chole’s Standing Tall.
  • Suggestions are invited for the two groups that should receive the donation this year. The Shane Ivory Benefit Fund has already been put forward.
  • There are 180 Community Contribution Passes available this year.
  • The CCPs are worth €70 each and can be auctioned, raffled or sold to raise funds for local causes.
  • A list of last year’s recipients can be viewed here.
  • Full terms are available and applications for this year’s allocation are invited via the website at
  • Paper application forms were distributed during the meeting. They can also be picked up and returned to Michael Leonard (Delvin), Gala (Clonmellon), Purple Raven Art (Crowenstown) or the Athboy Hub.
  • Body&Soul are seeking to recruit some responsible local people for paid stewarding roles during the festival. Applicants should be aged 20+.
  • A variety of Voluntary roles are also available and local young people are encouraged to apply. For full details, visit