Body & Soul Festival has announced 22 additional acts to the festival’s stellar line-up this year. The festival runs from 16-18 June, at Ballinlough Castle Estate in Co-Westmeath.
As part of Body & Soul’s cultural offering, much-loved comedians like Alison Spittle & David O’Doherty as well as podcast hits Louise McSharry & I’m Grand Mam will also join the starry lineup. As the community takes centre stage at Body & Soul this year, a dedicated programme will spotlight creative communities through performances, workshops, talks and panels with a whopping 19 guest community curators.
Not only that, the festival shares the wild array of spaces, stages, nooks and crannies in which these artistic delights can be discovered throughout a weekend of magic. So whether you want to stomp it out on a bass-filled dancefloor, catch up on some comedy, or lose your stress with a hot stone massage, there’s something for everyone at Body & Soul.
Body & Soul Stage
The Body & Soul Stage is the place to be for all music lovers. This is where the majority of headline acts perform, like the newly announced Fever Ray, one of pop’s true visionaries and boundary breakers, synth-pop superstar Alison Goldfrapp (pictured) and electronic duo The Blaze, with the previously announced Moderat, The Murder Capital, Hennessy Hip Hop Trail talents Denise Chaila, Kojaque, Kneecap and Fabio & Grooverider and The Outlook Orchestra. These headliners share the stage with emerging talent and legendary acts from various musical genres, like the legendary The Tulla Céilí Band, founded in 1946 in Co. Clare, alongside Aoife Nessa Frances, BCUC, Beth Orton, Gwenno, Kokoroko, Kormac’s Equivalent Exchange, Kurt Vile & The Violators, MEUTE, Public Service Broadcasting, Tinariwen, Weval and Ye Vagabonds. Inspired by the graceful curves of ship hulls, nests, rib cages, and curved parametric shapes, the Body & Soul stage is a masterpiece of design that cocoon the artists and audience alike in a warm, inviting atmosphere created by our 10-year long collaborator and expert, Toby Hatchett. Like a wooden womb, the stage softens and smooths, creating an intimate and focused space for performances that transports you to another world. But watch out, it will beckon you with its rhythmic pulse, drawing you in to experience the very soul of our festival.
The Beacon Sound System
In the midst of the ancient woodlands, where legends of past parties linger, lies The Beacon Sound System. A dance haven and festival-favourite realm dedicated to electronic beats that will move your soul well into the night with brand new acts announced today including Dublin DJs Bella Festa, curator of An Taobh Tuathail on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Cian Ó Cíobháin, producer, podcaster and DJ Kate Brennan Harding, seasoned promoter, booker and DJ Lolz, Belfast native Marion Hawkes, staples of the party scene Mother DJs and the energetic and diverse Neil Flynn. This wealth of newly announced party-bringers joins the iconic earlier announced acts The Blessed Madonna, Avalon Emerson, Shanti Celeste, HAAi, Gerd Janson, Gilles Peterson, Efa O’Neill and Sara Miller.
Home of the legendary closing ceremony The Pagan Rave along with Sing Along Social and newly announced festival fun The Craic’d Ceili, The Beacon Sound System is a custom-designed 30ft geometric totem that will draw you in from all directions. The circular stage brings people together in the round, creating an immersive, collective experience. With an immense sound system integrated into the giant wooden structure, the music reverberates through a tiered system of wooden ribs and metal joints. As night falls, the sound comes alive with a spectacular light show, enveloping you in a 360-degree sensory experience. Do you really want to miss it? We think not.
Hennessy Hip Hop House
Within the musical hub of the Body & Soul arena lies the Hennessy Hip Hop House, a renowned space that will be hard to leave this weekend as the world celebrates the global legacy of Hip Hop.
A spectacular lineup of Irish and international acts will take the stage including Gemma Dunleavy, Aby Coulibaly, Bon Voyage, Celaviedmai, God Knows, JyellowL, MuRli, Nealo, Negro Impacto, RíRá, Ruby Ivy, Strange Boy and Sweetlemondae, bringing the energy to a crescendo, with the help of renowned DJs Aoife Nic Canna, Arveene, Bé, Ben Bix x Little O, Billy Scurry, CC, Daddy G, DJ Flip, DJ Mek, DJ Tu-Ki, Glen Brady, Handsome Paddy, Hewan Mulugeta, Mango, Moving Still, Nightmares on Wax, Queen Beatz, Stevie G Soundsystem and Tee Cardaci. During the days, immerse yourself in conversations and panel discussions, graffiti, breakdance classes and workshops from an eye-catching lineup that is steeped in Hip Hop history from collaborators like Breakdance from Northern Soles Crew, District Presents: The Future of Irish Music, Graffiti from Rask & Sums, Hip Hop Karaoke, Paint & Sip with Simba, Talk: From Hip Hop to Bass, The Story of Irish Hip Hop: The Music, The Culture, The Community. Turn up!
Nestled within the stone-walled gardens’ orchard, The Secret Orchard is dedicated to highlighting the height of Irish talent today, with new addition Jealous Of The Birds, whose new album ‘Hinterland’ comes out 19 May, joined by the previously announced Ailbhe Reddy, Joy (Anonymous) (Live), Junior Brother, Real Lies, Ruti, Sorcha Richardson and THUMPER. In partnership with Bulmers, the playful and vibrant stage, constructed entirely from sustainable materials, boasts an aesthetic inspired by the humble honeycomb, invoking the bees that pollinate apple trees and the message of sustainability they bring.
A mix of live music, comedy, conversation and drag cabarets from the likes of the comically absurd, skilfully slick and ridiculously entertaining Paradise Cabaret will grace the stage, featuring both emerging and established acts that will make you feel right at home. Multi-talented Irish comic Alison Spittle brings the laughs alongside the legendary David O’Doherty and social media Stormers Michael Fry & Killian Sundermann. Sit back and open up your mind with thought-provoking conversations with Amanda Adé X Off Trance and Creative Conversations with Ruth Medjber, plus live podcasts by chart-toppers I’m Grand Mam and Louise McSharry. This enchanting space embodies the playful, uptempo spirit of the festival and the shared dedication to supporting local talent and sustainable principles that Body & Soul and Bulmer’s share. Get amongst it.
Cabin in the Woods
A place to let loose and free your spirit. Found in the heart of the woodlands, and drenched in moonshine, this backcountry-inspired stage embodies the essence of the wild. With a sound system that packs a punch, the Cabin in the Woods boasts a carefully curated lineup of DJs who spin slow-burning jams and laid-back grooves with a touch of the unexpected. As the sun sets and the moon rises, the forest comes alive with dancing creatures like you, jumping and wailing to the beat until the early morning. By day, the cabin transforms into a haven for workshops, conversations, and quirky experiences, adding another dimension to your festival adventure. So come, wander off the beaten path, and unleash your wild side.
Guest-curated community events
To mark the thirteenth year of Body & Soul, the festival organisers have extended this milestone celebration to the wider creative network. A dedicated programme that spotlights creative communities through performances, workshops, talks and panels will take place with 19 guest Community Curators who will curate a corner of the festival this year – asking members of our community to invite their community. These activities will be showcased across the festival and spotlighted on the Sanctuary Stage including Conor Creighton who will create a Love School at the festival, Níall Ó Murchú who will lead a blissful breathing session, The Useless Project who will host workshops on intergenerational knowledge and nature and Guzzle who will curate a special Summer Solstice feast.
The full list of Community Guest Curators includes:
Alltar, Alessandra Azevedo, Amanda Adé X Off Trance, Claire Davey (America Village Apothecary), Conor Creighton, Dafe Orugbo, Guzzle, Louise McSharry, Martin O’Donoghue, Níall Ó Murchú, The Pagan Rave, Rudi Lee McCarthy, Ruth Medjber, The Useless Project, Seanchoíche, Mother and late night curators Kev Freeney, Simon Cullen & Simon O’Reilly (The Ambient Broadcast).
Over the festival weekend, the organisers urge you to turn your back on ticking clocks, and head down the crooked paths and the small trails. “We guarantee you’ll stumble upon a great array of experiences; from awe-inspiring art installations to long table banquets and many initiatives that keep us grounded in creating the most sustainable festival in Ireland.”