Body & Soul is the most beautiful festival in Ireland. It helped that the weather made everything and everyone look their best but beyond that, the attention to detail in the stage construction, the installations, the random sculptures, the Midnight Circus stage; everything was made with love or set in a place like the walled garden that was previously made with love and craft.
Musically, there was plenty to get enthused about. My personal highlights from almost a full two days there?
God Knows & MyName IsJohn were a late addition to the festival who wasted no energy translating the best Irish rap album you may hear all year onto a limber and frenetic stage. Jape played a set of mostly new songs from walking the line that suits him between singer-songwriter and electronics, Mount Kimbie – Kind of bizarre to see the band with what felt like a heaving 4,000 capacity tent but all the same, their set was a mix of their newer jam-band electronica and the older post-dubstep stuff. Older material left the biggest impression but I still found the Cold Spring Fault Less Youth dear to my heart. Buraka Som Sistema took their Portugese Angolan dance music to the late-night main stage for some perfect late-night stomping and Ships continued worming their slinky disco-electronica into my heart and feet. Special shouts to the Wonderlust stage which was a mind-feeding haven for the weekend, Arbutus Yarns cottage and Reckless In Love, where the party never stopped in the glitter and confetti-covered woods.
Seeing as you probably didn’t use Instagram at the coverage-shielding site down at Body & Soul, Colm Moore has the evidence from Ballinlough Castle.