BODY AND SOUL: A WEEKEND OF HOT TUBS AND DOWNPOURS…
It was only when I was going back over my posts from the summer that I realised I’d left out one of the highlights – Body and Soul. This is my long overdue post to rectify the situation!
BODY AND SOUL – A WEEKEND OF HOT TUBS AND DOWNPOURS…
Eoin and I decided months back that we’d apply to work at the Body and Soul festival this year. We were in the early stages of planning our summer and figured that it’d be better to throw in an application than potentially miss out (which we came very close to doing.. thankfully the lovely people at Body and Soul understand exam stress and didn’t mind extending deadlines.)
So anyway, to cut a long story short, I found myself pulling out my black glittered wellies left over from years gone by at Oxegen, donning my red and white cherry raincoat and buying the “closest to disposable” tent that I could find. It came in an obnoxious shade of orange and did its job excellently.
As for the line up at Body and Soul, there was nobody in particular I was really pushed about seeing other than Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Everyone else was a bonus. For us, this worked out excellently – we worked a day, we had a day off, we worked a bit more and then we were free to ramble about the festival as we pleased. And there was SO MUCH to see and do. I was in awe. It was everything I would want for a festival and more.
I’d only ever been to Oxegen before and, though I had an epic time there too, felt that Body and Soul fitted me that bit better. I loved the installations, the art work, the attention to detail… It was so impressive. To think we’d almost skipped going.
We ended up camping in the staff and artist campsite which meant that the people in the tents around ours were either stewards there too or performers. That’s a happy mix of people, ever before the festival fields were even approached. We were also far enough away from the music that a good night’s sleep (not that you’d really be looking for one) was possible for the truly determined.
So stewards got free tickets to the festival, an excellent camping spot and were allowed run to the nearest town and back for drink as much as they wanted, a courtesy not extended to the general public. We could bring in as much drink as we wanted as often as we wanted. It was a win win all round as far as I was concerned! That said, we did end up trying out a load of the stalls around Body and Soul – crepes, chocolate strawberries, pies, hot chocolates, noodles…we ate like kings for the weekend. Again, it was most definitely my kind of festival.
Food, camping and chocolate aside, there was so much to see around Body and Soul. Artists had spent days working on their installations and their work truly shone at night, in the most literal sense possible. There were fairy lights throughout the forest. There was bunting galore. Swings, marquees, chimes, little houses, living room furniture… anything and everything. It had it all. They were placed at various points in the forest so that you could listen in to DJs whilst sitting in the comfort of an old armchair or rave inside a tiny open house. It was wonderful.
|Two guesses who wants to open the vintage cafe…..|
One of the evenings, we decided to treat ourselves to the hot tubs within the forest and, even though I was skeptical at first, it was every bit as amazing as it sounds.
They provided us with everything – towels, swimsuits, showers, changing rooms, hair dryers… There was even a little girl walking around the tubs asking if we needed a Ribena top up. Such a delightful little hostess. We did have drinks with us, but you know, the Ribena was a nice touch.
I think one of the biggest highlights was Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds though. He won out. The man is gifted. Nobody could argue that his performance wasn’t exceptional. I mean, his trousers alone were worth going to see. I’ve never seen a man crowd surf in such tight attire. It couldn’t have been easy. No doubt it took years of practice. Either way, he impressed everyone.
Downsides to Body and Soul?
The weather. It down poured from Day 2 and unfortunately for us, we found ourselves stationed in the performer car park for that entire day. We were soaked through and through. Thank God we had the hot tubs to look forward to, otherwise I’d say we genuinely would’ve gotten sick from staying in wet clothes all day. It was awful. It was the only point of the weekend where I questioned our decision to come work at the place! But even so, one we’d had showers and hot food, we quickly forgot how awful our shift at directing cars was.
Another downside to the weekend was when I got sick. I was perfectly fine and everything was going smoothly and them BAM. I had some sort of vomiting bug. Disgusting, I know, and worse when you’re in festival conditions. Imagine my trouble of trying to find portaloos that weren’t going to make me even more sick by merely entering. I’m going to spare the details at that, but the lesson is, never eat leftover Thai food at at Body and Soul or indeed any festival or camping event. It’ll lead to grave consequences and immediate food poisoning. That’s at best too.
So that was Body and Soul, and I know I should’ve blogged about it sooner, but I completely forgot. Eoin says he wouldn’t volunteer again, but I blame that on the car park experience. I’d say if push came to shove, he could be convinced.