After a two year hiatus and some proper time out to rethink and reimagine – the pioneering festival of music and arts is flipping its usual format on its head, halving its numbers and doubling its curatorial commitment.
Body & Soul holds a special place in people’s hearts and minds – the trailblazing, meticulously curated three-day, festival in Ballinlough Castle Estate has draped and dazzled its rustic surrounds in the splendour of discovery and enchantment over previous editions. Now it returns, reboots and reimagines what a truly immersive festival can mean – forging connections, foraging experiences and fashioning the joy of shared experience. With just 5,500 weekend tickets available, Body & Soul is channelling this renewed creativity into a will see a complete revision of its magical festival grounds across Ballinlough Castle Estate, replete with 17th century Walled Gardens, Woodlands and Lake Backdrop.
THE MUSIC SOUNDS BETTER WITH YOU
While keeping this mystery alive a little longer by still holding a few of its most exciting line up cards close to its chest, the independent, female owned festival has announced the likes of Róisín Murphy, Sampa the Great, Yves Tumor, CMAT, Pillow Queens, Kelly Lee Owens, Lee Fields, Soda Blonde, John Francis Flynn, Sofia Kourtesis, Optimo, Yard Act, Remi Wolf, Magdalena Bay, Godford, Sinead O’Brien, Fears, The Bug Club, The Altered Hours, M(H)AOL, Byron Yeates, Chloé, Mother DJ’s, an immersive album playback of Jon Hopkins’ Music for Psychedelic Therapy as well as a special 90 minute DJ and AV set by him.
A FESTIVAL OF DELIGHTS
Renowned for being about more than just a stellar music lineup, the arts and culture offerings at this year’s event are just as rich. From live recordings of award-winning podcasts and comedy, cabaret, drag brunches,and a Black Power Tarot tarot installation, which will centre around the buzzing and eclectic walled gardens programme, the festival also reveals its newly commissioned Beacon Stage, bringing with it the Pagan Rave, Sing-a-long Social and party music from Byron Yeates to Optimo
Cultural highlights include live recordings of The Last Bohemians by Kate Hutchinson and The Blindboy Podcast presented by Blindboy Boatclub, Suzanne Ciani, David O’Doherty, Shane Daniel Byrne, Candy Warhol & Mockie Ah!, Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, BISHI, King Khan & Michael Eaton’s Black Power Tarot, Aoife Dunne, Maser, Felispeaks, Bibliotherapy, Billy Mag Fhloinn’s Pagan Rave, Solstice Ceili, Sing Along Social, with more still to come.
Hot on the heels of Body & Soul’s film, Ériu, available to watch on RTÉ’s Player, the artists commissioned for the project will also appear live at the festival: from a performance by opera singer Emma Nash, to audiovisual works by Aoife Dunne and New Jackson & the Lighting Sculptors showcased in the woods.
There will also be full live performances from Lisa O’Neill and Crash Ensemble; John Francis Flynn; Overhead, the Albatross; AE Mak and Peter Broderick, and further appearances from Alltar featuring Súil Amháin; CUROD, Edwina Guckian & John Carty, alongside spoken word by Felix Power.
HENNESSY’S HIP HOP HOUSE
Ever anticipated, Hennessy will return for 2022 with its exceptional line-up for their renowned Hip Hop House, securing its reputation amongst the Irish hip hop scene as tastemakers and champions of Irish music and culture. The stellar line-up of Irish and international hip hop acts, especially curated for the festival by District, will include Mango x MathMan, Malaki, Aby Coulibaly, Monjola and JyellowL, Nealo, Louise Chen, Tomike and many, more.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
As always, the festival will be true to its roots and award-winning commitment to sustainability. 2022 will mark the first of a five year plan moving towards becoming the first circular festival in Ireland.
With further announcements still to be revealed, alongside its signature well-being offering of saunas, hot tubs and alternative therapies, and an elevated and sumptuous Food on Board dining experience, Body & Soul invites adventurous audiences to come and play this summer and experience a glittering, decadent weekend, complete with a cutting edge body and a heart shaped soul.
Body & Soul takes place from Friday June 17 to Sunday June 19 at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath. Weekend tickets €250, day passes from €100.
lead image: Shantanu Starick