Body and Soul Festival Returns with Surprise Line-Up

Challenging expectations around a line-up led festival format, Body & Soul is purposefully launching its 2022 festival edition without naming its confirmed headline acts. Instead, audiences will be invited to participate in an immersive and adventurous weekend full of surprises.

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. With just 5,500 weekend tickets to be made available, the strikingly smaller three-day event (17-19 June) will be a grown-up affair and goes on sale today Tuesday (1 March) from 9am.

This year’s festival promises an unparalleled creative experience, from secret stages to forest feasts, intimate performances and moments of transcendence. Body & Soul will place emphasis on a collaborative programme of discovery and play.

What’s New?

Fusing commissions of brand new work with music, dance, comedy, art installations, spoken work and performance, the meticulously curated festival will see a complete reimagining of its stunning grounds, which transforms the woodlands, lakes and gardens of Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath.

For the first time in Body & Soul history, the central ‘meeting point’ of the festival will be The Beacon Stage – a new, 35ft tall, totem-like wooden structure. A 360 degree performance space with surround sound speakers, The Beacon features a 100ft laser, which acts as a light tower by night.

The Body & Soul Main Stage will be under the spotlight at key moments across the weekend, hosting a carefully condensed selection of exceptional music performances. The festival hub will centre on the ‘Avant Garden’ – a tightly-programmed, 17th century walled garden dedicated to incredible food and captivating live entertainment.

What’s on the Menu?

With a buzzing schedule of innovative music, from acoustic and jazz, to orchestral and electronica, the Avant Garden is where guests can expect the unexpected – from a ‘First Tastes’ dating experience, a drag brunch and mini restaurant with some of Ireland’s most exciting chefs, to creative workshops, engaging talks, treasure hunts and the annual Masquerade ‘Solstice’ Costume Ball.

Passionate food lovers will also converge for a celebration of magnificent Irish food, courtesy of Food on Board. Refined treats and gastronomic indulgence will complement the rolling live programme of imaginative interludes and original performances.

Wellness and Art

2022 marks the return of The Sanctuary, the restorative cornerstone of Body & Soul – completely overhauled and redesigned, it brings a new wellness programme, incredible therapists and workshops, alongside indulgent hot tubs, seaweed baths and saunas.

The Woodlands will host a specially commissioned, site-specific art gallery with large-scale immersive environments fusing sculpture, video, performance and sound, along with the infamous Woodlands Stage and its very own party cabin in the woods.

Lakeside, Body & Soul is introducing an innovative, immersive symphonic experience by a world-renowned electronic music composer to Ireland for the first time. The specially commissioned, surround sound performance will transport audiences into different temporal spaces at intervals over the weekend.

A Sustainable Weekend

Those who know the Festival, know that sustainability is behind it all. In 2022 it will be the first circular festival in Ireland, through a programme of recycling, reusing and repurposing all elements of the festival’s production, with a five year plan to become carbon neutral by 2027.

Now in its 12th year, Body & Soul unfolds under an annual theme and this year it will be ‘Betwixt & Between’ – a nod to the concept of Liminality and the place in which we find ourselves after the last two years. Further details of special guests, unique commissions and a distinctly sparkling weekend experience will be revealed in due course.

Avril Stanley, Director, Body & Soul, said: “For all the challenges, some enforced time out has allowed a new incarnation of Body & Soul to take shape and instead of just going back to our roots, we are instead cultivating shiny new ones. We are delighted to be returning this summer with renewed vision and the opportunity to harness the immense creative energy that comes from these transitional times.”

Ava Farrelly
Ava Farrelly is a travel journalist for travel2ireland, ITTN and TravelTimes. With a background in arts, culture and lifestyle, Ava has a keen eye for the most visit-worthy destinations and all their attractions.

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