Body & Soul Announce New Arena & Acts


Few Summer music festivals – Irish or otherwise – manage to so successfully nail a sense of life-affirming magic quite like Body & Soul. Set to return to Co. Westmeath’s Ballinlough Castle from June 17-19, it’s been announced that this year’s festival will feature Second Nature, a brand new, “enchanted menagerie of lush music, contemporary performance, immersive, nature-based art and Zen-like pockets of peace, nestled among the centuries-old oaks, pines and ash trees of Ballinlough Castle’s forest.” Sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it?

At the heart of the new arena (which also features the likes of The Sanctuary, Solas Bath House, Light House Cinema, the Pagoda Stage, art installation, theatre and performance, interactive experiences and festival favourite Arbutus Yarns) is The Woodlands Stage, which is hand-built and repurposed using timber taken from the festival’s old main stage. With many more acts set to play, Saint Sister, Talos, Forrests, Elm, TooFools, Holly Macve, Somadrone and Loah are amongst those confirmed to play the new stage.

Elsewhere, Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann AKA Æ Mak, Ocho, Dundalk’s multi-instrumentalist Shane Clarke AKA Elephant, one-man orchestra Mario Batkovic and folk vocalist Niamh Regan have also been announced to play. Light House Cinema also return to screen the likes of Prince’s Purple Rain, Stop Making Sense, Labyrinth, The Life Aquatic, The Big Lebowski and a singalong (but of course) screening of Grease over at the Healing Sanctuary.

Better still, Body & Soul have revealed stage breakdowns:

Body & Soul Stage/Midnight Circus

The Gloaming / Santigold / St Germain / Hudson Mohawke / Floating Points (live) / Mercury Rev / Neon Indian / Girl Band / BadBadNotGood / Wolf Parade / Sun Kil Moon / Junior Boys / David August / Cassy / Optimo / Gold Panda / Mbongwana Star / Ibibio Sound Machine / Tanya Tagaq / Slow Magic / Jambinai / Ho99o9 / Ninos Du Brasil / NAH / Brian Deady / Bleeding Heart Pigeons / Rusangano Family / FJAAK / EMBRZ / Bitch Falcon

Woodlands Stage

Holly Macve / Talos / Saint Sister / Elm / TooFools / Forrests / Mario Batkovic / Daithí / Somadrone / Myles Manley / Plutonic Dust / Loah / Ocho / Aine Cahill / ÆMak / Elephant / We Eat Electric Light / Ailbhe Reddy / Ollie Bell / Niamh Regan / PRESENTED BY MUSIC NETWORK: Séamus Begley, Catriona McKay & Chris Stout / OKO / Christine Tobin / Bangers and Crash Percussion Trio / The Carducci Quartet / Donal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor & Zoë Conway

Pagoda Stage

Daniel McDermott / PolyGlove / BARQ / Auxiliary Phoenix / The Ocelots / Joni / Tracy Bruen / Katie Laffan / Shrubs Duo / Farah Elle / Feather / Apollonia Tribal Bellydance / Floating Ballroom / Publicity Machine / Johnny Rayge / El Grey / Roisin El Cherif / Candlelit Tales & Infinity Program: The Story of Eithlinn / Marangvla A&V / Arash

Check out the full current line-up and buy tickets for this year’s festival here.

Here’s our review of Body & Soul 2015.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.