UCD Students’ Union (SU), in association with UCD Ents, are to launch a new arts festival on campus this September. The event, dubbed Mind, Body and Soul, will take place in the Student Centre Quad from September 23rd to 25th.
The festival will focus on promoting student wellbeing, including mental and physical health. Each day of the festival’s three days will be themed to promote a different aspect of wellbeing with “mind”, “body” and “soul” themed days.
Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU President Feargal Hynes said that the festival is about “positive mental health. It’s about looking after yourself, and it’s about building a community on campus, especially on residences.”
According to Hynes, much of the festival’s content will be provided by collaboration with UCD’s student societies and sports’ clubs, as well as with various national arts festivals. Hynes has noted that the event is “strictly a non-alcoholic festival” and that all features of the festival are to be “absolutely free”.
UCDSU are currently seeking sponsorship for the festival, though Hynes has indicated that much of the funding will be provided by treating the festival as a consolidation of smaller, faculty-specific wellbeing initiatives usually held by UCDSU.
Hynes is optimistic that the festival will be “very successful this year”, but expects that it will be “even more successful in the coming years as it develops”.
UPDATE: UCDSU have announced further details of the festival’s events, which will include an outdoor cinema, a silent disco and art exhibitions, as well as the chance for students to try out Lau Gar, Yoga and touch rugby. Students are also promised a “puppy cuddling” event.
Collaborations with mental health organisations will be “a key component of the festival”. UCDSU Welfare Officer Maeve DeSay has said the event will bring in “a number of mental health organizations who will be there to talk to students about looking after themselves and being able to know how to spot the warning signs amongst their friends.”