Body&Soul’s new stage The Library of Progress at the festival in Ballinlough Castle is pitched a place to “champion critical thinking & human curiosity.”

The Library of Progress’ is inspired by Body&Soul’s original ethos of being an incubator of great ideas and being ahead of the curve.

The Library of Progress is a positive subversion of The Library of Congress, the United States’ repository of some of humanity’s greatest works and the largest library in the world. Curated by Naoise Nunn, founder of Kilkenomics Festival and Leviathan: Political Cabaret, it looks to celebrate all that is good about our inquisitive nature, the scientific method and open critical thinking.

Here’s what’s happening:

FACTION with Blindboy Boatclub of Rubberbandits,
a fast-moving, irreverent topical political debate that seeks to separate fact from fiction, and science from the snakeoil. Guests include Professor Luke O’Neill, Chair of Biochemistry, and Professor Aoife McLysaght, Professor of Genetics, both of Trinity College Dublin.

Illuminate! – some of Ireland’s most intriguing creative minds give a short five minute illustrated talk on their artistic process, inspiration and vision, featuring writer and documentary-maker Manchan Magan, broadcaster and fashion designer Brendan Courtney, award winning composer, sound designer and musician Alma Kelliher, Blaise Smith RHA one of Ireland’s foremost realist painters, and Noeline Kavanagh, Artistic Director of award winning, internationally acclaimed performance and spectacle company Macnas.

Actor, writer and performer Emmet Kirwan hosts Beats and Rhymes, a blitz of spoken word and hip hop performances from Ireland’s hottest performers including Mango and Mathman, John Cummins, Abbey Oliveira, Stephen James Smith, Sian Ni Mhuiri, Lethal Dialect, and Denise Chailia.

Rick O’Shea’s Book Club presents It Could Be Worse: Writing About The Near Future. Guests Lisa Coen and Sarah Goff-Davis from Tramp Press and writers Dave Rudden, Rob Doyle, June Caldwell, Shane Hegarty will chat with Rick about books that have been described, with varying degrees of dystopian apocalypse, the world in which we now live, where the authors got it wrong and where, chillingly, they got it right.

My Secret Planet with clinical psychologist Dr. Eddie Murphy, described as Desert Island Discs meets On the Psychiatrist’s Couch where fascinating guests open up and reveal their inner cultural lives as they talk about the cultural artefact that mean most to them.

Salon du Chat – adding a touch of theatre and the surreal to the art of conversation, the Salon du Chat team will be on hand to provide some conversational nourishment with their unique speed debating format which recreates the atmosphere of Bohemian Paris with a knowing nod to online chat rooms.

Bibliotherapist – Body&Soulers are invited to bring along a book which inspired them and deposit it in the library for others to browse or borrow, while the Bibliotherapist will be on hand throughout the weekend to prescribe books to people in need of inspiration.

The Limerick Spring brings its Speakers’ Corner to Ballinlough, inviting festival-goers to celebrate the summer solstice by having their say, get that great idea out in the open or have a rant!

Closing the weekend at The Library of Progress enjoy a party in the company of The Metabolix, a band comprised entirely of scientists and doctors in uniform.

Listen to our episode of the Loose Joints podcast with Emmet Kirwan.

Posted on May 19th, 2017


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Body&Soul has added some names to the festival for June 23 – 25 2017 in Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath.

Joining the main lineup today is: Bonobo, Talos, Skott, DJ Bambii, New Jackson.

The Bulmers Lounge will host Stephen James Smith, RED PILL Poetry Collective, John Cummins, The Tullamore Rhymers Club, Moth & Butterfly, and MissElayneous & DJ FunkTom, The Jimmy Cake, Fixity, Cranky Face, Percolator, The Ocelots, SYLK, Character Development Cypher, Liam & Hajime with Stephen Heffernan, and The Bonny Men.

Theatrical performances: Waterford playwright Conor Clancy’s ‘Will It Fit In A Van?’ about a poorly run drug distribution in a small fictional town delves into kidnappings, murder, biscuits, beloved horses, the clergy and a very important chipper!; while ‘Fizzy Drinks with Two Straws’, a play for anyone who has ever been told “you’re too young to understand”, comes to Body&Soul from Scene & Heard Festival and Theatre Upstairs.

Wonderlust’s line-up of live music, performance, conversations, talks and workshops in the walled garden will include Katie Kim and Crash Ensemble, while Women on Walls brings its movement to Ballinlough where Accenture’s Eithne Harley, Royal Irish Academy’s Pauric Dempsey and TCD’s Professor Lydia Lynch will discuss how underrepresentation of women in the RIA’s official portraits led them to take positive action and commission several female portraits now on permanent display at Academy House.

new to this year: The Library of Progress is a positive subversion of The Library of Congress, the United States’ repository of some of humanity’s greatest works and the largest library in the world. Highlights include Beats and Rhymes with Emmet Kirwan, a blitz of spoken word and hip hop performances and FACTION, hard-hitting political debate with Blindboy BoatClub of Rubberbandits.

Previous announcements.

Posted on May 5th, 2017


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Loose Joints is new podcast hosted by Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon talking to people about the music they love: old and new.

For number three we are joined by Emmet Kirwan, actor and writer. You might know him from his brilliant stage show Dublin Old School, Just Saying or most recently Thisispopbaby’s RIOT show at the Fringe.

Our musical selection is banger-heavy and our chat takes in losing your hearing in Ibiza, your ideal funeral songs, we agonise over our guilty pleasure choices and Emmet explains the appeal of Mark Morrison’s Get Horny,  Sally explains the torrid appeal of “the mortify human saveloy that is Simply Red” and backbreakers.

Subscribe in iTunes.

Also available in Stitcher, Pocket Casts and TuneIn.

Download: Loose Joints Podcast #3: Emmet Kirwan (99MB, 1hr 40mins)


  1. Young Marco – Dreamless
  2. Falcons – Aquafina feat. GoldLink & Chaz French
  3. Chance The Rapper’s All Night (Kaytranada remix)
  4. What tune or band takes you back to your youth the most?
    Dusty Kid – Tsunamy
  5. A song you’d like played at your funeral?
    Souls Of Mischief – 93 Til Infinity
  6. Solange – Cranes In The Sky (Kaytranada remix)
  7. A song that reminds you of family:
    The Housemartins – Caravan Of Love
  8. Nxworries – Lyk Dis
  9. Guilty Pleasures:
    Mark Morrison – Get Horny
  10. Enya – Sail Away
  11. Simply Red – Stars
  12. A song that gets you inspired
    El-P – The Full Retard
  13. Lil Silva – De Ja (feat. Kent Jamz)

Loose Joints #1: Aidan Kelly.
Loose Joints #2: Oisin Davis.

Special thanks to Sean Corcoran for facilitating recording.

Posted on October 25th, 2016


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