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Body & Soul is an arts and music festival where like-minded people will come together for three days next weekend on the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in Co Westmeath to discover new music, interact with visual and performance art outside a traditional setting and celebrate life in all its shapes and colors.

Placed in an amazing setting with a 15th century walled garden, it showcases a brilliant line-up, secret hideaways and glittering late-night discos in the woodlands, an inspirational art trail, a magnificent masquerade ball, culinary feasts, steaming hot tubs and seaweed baths and much much more.

There is something for everyone at Body & Soul.

This guide will give you an overview of what is on offer this summer solstice weekend.

NB: Body & Soul takes place from June 19 to 21. Weekend tickets are [euro]149.50 with one-day tickets available for Sunday also. Visit for more info.

Masquerade Ball

Every year, at twilight on Saturday, The Open-Air Masquerade Ball takes place amidst the walled gardens of Ballinlough Castle. Hundreds of beautifully adorned masqueraders rejoin the festival grounds in full costume to start the second part of the more vivacious evening.


Sloping down from the woodlands into a natural vale is the beating heart of the festival, the intimate, open-air Body & Soul Main Stage where Super Furry Animals (pictured left) will electrify the crowds as they reunite for their first show in six years. Also performing over the weekend will be Leftfield, Flight Facilities, Savages, Asgeir, Goat, Nightmares on Wax, Tiga, Lamb and Kiasmos to name but a few.

The Enchanted Forest

Body & Soul's favourite party place, Reckless In Love, once again brings its nocturnal madness back to its own designated spot hidden deep in the woods where mischief reigns supreme.

It takes place over three nights by Dublin's favourite party-starters, Hidden Agenda on Friday, Mother on Saturday and Radio Shack on Sunday.

A new addition to the festival this year, hosted by Homebeat with Visuals by Le Tissier, is Tree Haus.

Wrapped the Myles screen and in the still heart of Ballinlough Woods, amongst the wisdom of ages lies a place of darkness, a place of light, a temple to beauty, a mansion to madness.

Tree Haus is a glittering bastion of cutting-edge contemporary Irish culture and music, from folk straight through to glitching electronica.

Come and sit amongst the branches by day and sway with the leaves by night.

Tree Haus is all the promise of now, set in the heart of our woodland past.

Get crafty Back by popular demand is the Greencrafts Village, a beautiful area bursting with energy and environmental skill-share.

There are 10 workshops to choose from including: Silver jewellery, rings and pendants; wood carving tree spirits; slate carving wall hanging and coaters; copper jewellery pendants, key rings and bracelets; basketry weaving with willow; pottery kick wheel, throwing clay pots; felt making and juggling balls; building and firing of wood fired kiln; Insect hotels and blacksmithing hooks, key rings and bottle openers.

Workshops operate on a drop-by basis all day, charges are made for materials and children are welcome.

Comedy The Vodafone Comedy Tent, programmed by Maria Schweppe of the London Irish Comedy Festival, will showcase an eclectic mix of Irish and international comedy in its first year at Body & Soul. The line-up includes only the finest established and emerging comedic acts such as Jason Byrne (pictured), Panti, Chris Kent, Dublin Comedy Improv and many more.

The Sanctuary

Nestled by the lakeside, The Sanctuary is a haven where you can relax, rejuvenate and revitalise body and mind.

Join a morning meditation to ground you through your day followed by a healthy brunch or take part in a dance movement meditation in the early evening to ease you into the night. Or try a Sunday detox to twist and bend your way back to vitality before one last night of dancing.

It is a place to explore and wander with installations around every corner and secret places to hide away.

Solas Spa Hot Tubs & Bath House also takes full advantage of its forest setting.

Situated beneath the beautifully-illuminated canopy of a native broadleaf woodland, it is designed to rejuvenate and heighten the senses, restoring radiance and vitality at the core of your body and soul. Options available are Hot Tubs, Seaweed Baths and Epsom Salt Baths.

On arrival you will be greeted by a hostess and provided with towels and swimwear. Changing room facilities are also available.

And why not enjoy a non-alcoholic refreshment while you unwind?

Deep inside the woods is the Arbutus Yarns Theatre where music filmmaker Myles O'Reilly will screen his catalogue and special guests will perform acoustic sets. The Bulmers Lounge is back in the glorious orchards of Ballinlough with a line-up of madcap storytellers, rhyme makers and a wealth of theatrics. Body Holidays is a 1970s-style camp. It's a candy-coloured, kitsch haven of fun and entertainment, games, music and dancing which will delight both young and old.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jun 14, 2015
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