Body & Soul
The summer solstice has always been an important part of Irish culture and Body & Soul have been keeping it prevalent in our calendars for the last few years, holding their festival on the weekend closest to the longest day of the year. Ballinlough Castle will host the annual music and arts festival from June 17th – 19th with acts like Santigold, St. Germain and Floating Points (live) set to headline over the three days. We sat down with Tom Lawlor, Head of Marketing & Sponsorship, to discuss what we can expect from this year’s Body & Soul.
How did you first get involved with Body & Soul?
I’ve known Avril, the director of the festival, for a number of years and we’d spoken as friends about my love of Body & Soul many times. I was coming home to Ireland after a stint abroad and the timing was perfect, so I joined the team.
What can we expect from this year’s festival?
A perfect mix of festival favourites and new possibilities. Our site is expanding and the woodlands are shapeshifting but we’re still the best place to indulge in decadence!
What makes your festival different from the rest?
I go back every time to the unique experience that people have when they come to B&S. It’s made up of being in a stunning location with different realms to explore with like-minded people and of course a great and eclectic music, arts, spoken word, comedy, holistic and kids programmes. There is something for everyone whether it’s the masquerade ball, the hot tubs, the ethical food providers, the art trails. It’s really about all of those elements coming together. We always say it’s the little things that make a festival great. To me they are as important as the bigger more visible elements. It’s the spirit of collaboration with our artists and performers that sets it apart from any other festival in Ireland. That, along with the commitment of an exceptional team who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it the best it can be.
What can you tell us about your lineup so far?
We nailed it!
What else does your festival offer outside of music?
Literally everything. From gas craic community games (including sock wrestling) to hot-tubs under a canopy of stars, Body & Soul has never just been about music. It’s about igniting passion at Wonderlust, forging metal at Greencrafts or sharing cocktails at Glasshouse. Come and see.
What is your favourite thing about working at a festival?
It’s a very specific moment that happens a few hours after the first people walk through the gates – hearing the first huge, sustained applause for an act on the main stage after days of listening to construction noise, silence or sound checks on site
What advice would you give to first-time festival goers?
Pace yourself. Lose your mates for a while and make new ones.
Body&Soul 2016 will take place from 17 – 19 June 2016 in the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in Co. Westmeath www. bodyandsoul.ie
Words – Sophie Butler
Images – Body & Soul