Body & Soul is probably the best festival in the country. Controversial? Maybe. But until you go, you'll never know the delights that await you in the wilds of Ballinlough Castle.
Everyone from attendees, bar and food staff to the majority of security on site were in the party form, with spirits high and hands even higher (both from dancing and from the frequent and thorough checks for alcohol upon entry to the arena).
Being able to just wander around a festival and constantly be surprised by the layout, decorations and people on show created an atmosphere of warmth and celebration that seems to bubble out of the earth at Ballinlough Castle and has yet to be replicated at any other site or festival as of yet in Ireland.
Friday night belonged to the Mother DJs, who took over the Reckless in Love stage for 6 hours until early morning, but could easily have continued playing well into Saturday, such was the response and demand from devotees old and new.
Daytime was spent with most campers to-ing and fro-ing from the golf course come campsite which, while feeling a lot bigger and more spread out than in previous years, provided ample facilities and plenty of room for everyone to enjoy themselves. Art performances such as Pettycash's spoken word slot provided a calmer alternative to the more boisterous activities of the night, and highlighted the talent and spirit of the up-and-comers in the art and theatre scene in the country.
My House and Reckless in Love stages provided welcome shelter in the woods from the bipolar weather which yoyoed between scorching sun and lashing rain in what felt like 5 minute intervals.
The Midnight Circus tent also had this bonus, and benefited from being complete with its own bar lashing out cocktails faster than you could say 'Beyoncé who?'
Kate Boy, Solange and Irish synth-poppers Faune rounded out Sunday and the entire weekend in one joyous peak, unfortunately all crossing over in terms of stage times but bringing the energy back for all those who travelled down for the day to give them a taste of what the whole weekend is all about.
Best bites? There were plenty of choices for the hungry, from your vegan and organic cereals and teas to your old reliable greasy and delicious burger, but leagues above them all was the beans on toast coming from Cool Beans just inside the Walled Gardens. €5 got you a massive slice of chunky toast, a very generous helping of one of three flavours of beans, some grated cheese and they threw in a cup of tea for free. It was like being hugged by your mammy from the inside. A definite must visit on the festival circuit this year.