13 June 2016

Six Standout Attractions of Body&Soul 2016

Body and Soul Festival Launch
Absolut Body and Soul Launch
With all of its colour and magic and whimsy, the Body&Soul area was always my favourite part of Electric Picnic – but this year is my first since it spun out into a fully formed festival.

The festival launch with Absolut Vodka - with delish drinks and performances from Irish aerial troupe Loosey Smokes - set the scene for this year’s boutique event, happening from 17-19 June on the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in Co. Westmeath.

Body&Soul is all about those magical moments, and caters for everyone from families and foodies to revellers; there really is something for everyone. Here’s what I’m looking forward to most:

JD Twitch Optimo Espacio
JD Twitch in action 

ONE: Optimo
Don’t miss this chance to see the incredibly talented and creative DJ duo Twitch and Wilkes in action.

If you never made it to their Sunday club night Optimo (Espacio) - which ran from late 1997 until early 2010 in Glasgow - then I’m sad for you, because those nights were the stuff of legends.

But you can make up for it by catching their festival set, which I expect to capture some of that same raucous and joyful energy.

TWO: The Sanctuary
What do I love? An outdoor hot-tub. When do I love it? Now, always and whenever, actually, but it sounds especially appealing by a lake in the middle of a festival, does it not?

And The Sanctuary - an area of recuperation and wellness for festival-goers – offers not only hot-tubs and seaweed baths but massage, reiki, reflexology, yoga classes and more. Good luck to the Mister in trying to coax me away!

Fluff and Fripperies in Festival Mode
Emma's last festival - it's been a while!  The hat, the boots...don't ask. 

THREE: Mercury Rev
I can’t think of anything more perfect to listen to at this whimsical, atmospheric and slightly bonkers event than this whimsical, atmospheric and slightly bonkers indie band which, incidentally, I have never yet seen live. Check out the rest of the lineup. 

FOUR: Tangerine Dreams 
The fact that I am so excited about this speaks to my advancing age and intolerance of discomfort. With all glamping options selling out in what seemed like seconds, the Tangerine Dreams campsite offers the next best thing: pre-pitched tents, complete with air mattresses and (brand new) sleeping bags.

Looseysmokes at Absolut Body and Soul Launch

FIVE: The Meditation 
More than 2000 people are expected to congregate in the natural amphitheatre area of the main stage at 12 noon on Saturday for what will be Ireland’s largest outdoor meditation, offering the chance to reflect on the summer solstice and the turn of the year.

According to Ger Murphy, who hosts the Meditation: "People report feeling more part of a community over the festival weekend following the meditation. It allows festival goers to be more conscious of their own self-care and to be mindful of giving each other a helping hand when needed. We believe that having fun and being reflective are essentially elements of the human soul’s yearning to celebrate and give thanks. Festivals are a great place to bring together these yearnings and many young (and not so young) people are hungry for opportunities to celebrate and give thanks together.”

Allsun would approve. 

SIX: Absolut Midsummer Nights 
With top mixologists, a tasty brunch on both Saturday and Sunday and a creative programme featuring Irish and international DJs and artistic performers (including the Deadbots, Loosey Smokes (above) and headliners Lucent Dossier), the Absolut stage sounds like it’s gonna be party central all weekend long.

You'll find me at the cocktail bar: offerings include the Absolut Peppar Bloody Mary, Raspberri Fizz and Stockholm Mule - all of which I enthusiastically sampled at the launch, and can heartily recommend!

If you're heading along this year, what are you most looking forward to?

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