This news certainly left a lot of people angry and sad.
The days of meeting in the Body & Soul at Electric Picnic are over.
After 16 years, the people behind that area of the festival in Stradbally have announced that they are ending their association with Electric Picnic.
Instead, they will be concentrating solely on their own independent festival and also a new winter festival next December (2020).
Founder Avril Stanley released a statement confirming the news:
“After 10 years as an independent festival, we have decided to step back from our presence and 16-year partnership with Electric Picnic so that we can refocus all of our attention to what the central idea behind Body&Soul is all about: creating an intimate and collaborative festival of the future; one that can embrace social change in a hugely positive way while celebrating an important and ancient Irish feast in our own unique, stand-alone style.
“We want to work towards bringing back a fresh energy and perspective to Body&Soul at the Summer Solstice Festival in Ballinlough and for our new winter festival ÉRIU (December 2020).
“We are adding a new sense of Purpose to our festival pillars of Sustainability, Wellbeing, Creativity, Culture and Family and we hope to focus all of our efforts in bringing something different to the landscape of Irish festivals into the next ten years.
“The Body&Soul Family celebrates all of the incredible and unforgettable moments in our first festival home and wishes the Electric Picnic every success in the future.”
Reacting to the news, Electric Picnic’s Melvin Benn announced that a new Mind & Body area would replace Body & Soul.
He also confirmed the creation of a brand new area called FishTown – in honour of Jerry Fish.
The news of the loss of Body & Soul comes on the day that tickets for the 2020 Electric Picnic went back on sale.
Organisers also announced an increase in the capacity of the event of 15,000 – from 55,000 last year to 70,000.
It means that the capacity of the Electric Picnic has more than doubled since 2013 when 32,000 people attended the festival.