Body&Soul Festival shelved due to ban on mass gatherings

The Body&Soul Festlval, which was due to take place in Ballinlough Castle next month, has been cancelled due to the months-long ban on mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avril Stanley, founding director of the festival, announced its cancellation in a statement yesterday.

The popular festival of music, art, and culture inspired by Nevada’s Burning Man festival, had been planned for the weekend of June 19 to 21. The festival has been running annually at Ballinlough Castle since 2010.

“This is a challenging time for everyone, including the Body&Soul family, and I am heartbroken to confirm that Body&Soul 2020 cannot go ahead due to updated COVID-19 restrictions guidelines that were issued by the Government this afternoon which states that all large scale gatherings are banned up to the end of August 2020,” Ms Stanley said in a statement published on the festival website yesterday.

“While the impact of this decision creates ripples throughout our creative community spread across the globe, Body&Soul’s top priority lies in keeping its artists, attendees, staff and extended community healthy and safe, and we absolutely respect the Government’s decision and the steps it must take to protect everyone amidst this unprecedented crisis.

“Having shelved an incredible decade of an ever-evolving festival landscape, we were due to celebrate our 11th edition this Summer Solstice weekend across the new artisan food trails in the castle’s walled gardens, extensive wellness sanctuary space, immersive art installations, inspiring visionary talks and one of our favourite line ups yet, including Metronomy, RóIsíN Murphy, King Kong Company, Princess Nokia.

“I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all the Body&Soulers; staff, volunteers, artists, partners and facilitators who have invested their time and energy and worked so hard to create the 2020 event.”

Those who had purchased tickets to this year’s event will be contacted by the ticketing company regarding a refund in the coming days, she advised.

“While we may not be able to gather in person this June, we are with you in spirit,” Ms Stanley added. “We’re not going anywhere. In the meantime, mind one another. Together, we’ll make it through to the other side of this, slowly but surely.”


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