Mykki Blanco and Austra join the dozens of amazing acts lined up for this year’s midsummer arts festival, Body & Soul
Body&Soul has unveiled the next phase of its musical stylings for 2017, with a range of high energy acts, soulful funk outfits and groundbreaking performers bound to enchant at Ireland’s most celebrated Summer Solstice gathering. A home for trailblazers with unique perspectives and a platform for exciting and unusual voices, the festival has curated a truly forward-thinking roster that will appeal to the most discerning ears.
Mykki Blanco & Austra At Body & Soul
Genderqueer performer, activist and poet Mykki Blanco – the cover star from GCN Issue 282 – will showcase her high-concept punk rap / hip hop on the Body&Soul Stage. Blanco’s first studio album Mykki dropped in 2016 and references drag aesthetics, gender roles, being HIV positive and a wealth of material that has only become more relevant in recent times. Adding to this topical mindset with their darkly political brand of synth pop are returning Canadian band Austra, fronted by Katie Stelmanis. Their new album Future Politics addresses the instability and civic unrest of our current age while positing new utopias against a backdrop of propulsive, minimalist dance music. A fictional concept turned reality, The Moonlandingz fuse disco, glam and psych-rock in a uniquely intense format that will excite and confound. Expect bizarre costumes, tribal drumming, heavy breathing – this will be a performance to remember. London-born Sudanese artist Sinkane will spread sub-Saharan sunshine, soul and funk across Ballinlough. Sinkane’s 2017 album Life & Livin’ It is full of optimism and positive adages that transcend language. Not to be outdone, Ireland’s own Æ Mak will take their vocal harmonies, choreography and punk performance ethos to new levels after a string of outstanding performances across the country.
Once again, the centuries old forests of Ballinlough will play host to the Woodland Stage’s stacked line-up of wildly divergent talent. Bosnian-born Swiss accordion experimenter Mario Batkovic returns with his transcendental collisions between the contemporary and the classical. Cork’s BARQ bring their trademark “Agro-Soul” to the party – a striking amalgamation of boisterous rock coalesced with elastic funk grooves. Fellow rebel county ambassadors, Shookrah will provide shimmering synths, a propulsive rhythm section, and their strikingly modern take on R’n’B. Electro-pop-house duo Le Boom are set to showcase their effortless skill for both songwriting and stagecraft that whips audiences into a euphoric lather. A ceaselessly inventive player and songsmith, Katie Laffan blends her amorphous, technicolor concoction of funk, modern pop, reggae and post-punk. A highlight of 2016, Sing Along Social will return this year to unite the crowd with the power of song. You don’t have to practice, know how to sing or even know the words to join in and have the craic.
Famed for its late-night divilment, Reckless in Love will transpose some of the country’s best-loved parties to more verdant environs. Friday night will be hosted by irregular pop-up Alice, best known for their unusual takeovers of boats, restaurants and islands, Saturday’s maestros Homebeat will cultivate the intimacy and energy they do so well and Sunday night’s Maeve will merge the spirit of Berlin with the best of Irish dance music.
Veuve Clicquot At Body & Soul
Food on Board returns to Body&Soul in a new location, nestled within the woods by the lake. This year Food on Board is pairing up with Veuve Clicquot, to serve up dishes by the country’s most inventive and conscientious gastronomes – yum! This assortment of feasts catering to the most perceptive palates can be paired with a perfectly balanced glass of Veuve Clicquot from the champagne bar: think innovative flavours from Galway’s Ard Bia, reimagined Asian street food from Katie Sanderson’s White Mausu project and award-winning vegan goodies from Cork’s My Goodness. The new area will bubble over with conversation, insightful talks and workshops by passionate feeders from the four corners of Ireland, with a packed programme of arts, music and performance. As darkness draws in, the programme will fizz and pop with decadent and effervescent indulgences, as performers dazzle late into the night at the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar.
It’s not just the musical and culinary programmes that will expand the mind at this year’s festival. New venue The Library of Progress will champion critical thinking and all that is good about human curiosity, while festival favourite Wonderlust will provide eye-opening discussions by day and an unrivalled intimate yet electric atmosphere by night.
Relax At Body & Soul
For those looking to steal away for a quiet moment in the midst of the festivities, our Sanctuary and Immerse Spa Experience offer mindful meditations, sound healing sessions, relaxing massages, wood fired hot tubs, and revitalising seaweed baths to name but a few. Bookings are now open for those seeking to realign their energies and recharge their batteries whilst enjoying the serenity of the lakeside.
There’ll be a world of discovery for inquisitive young minds with Body&Soul’s best-ever Family and SoulKids Programme, ambitious art installations that will stop you in your tracks, acrobatic antics, pop-up performances, cosy conversations at Arbutus Yarns, haunting vocals at the Pagoda Stage and more than 50 acts still to announce.
After a hugely successful seven year cycle of creation and craft, Body&Soul is now entering its eighth year with renewed purpose. When guests enter the festival site their experience is carefully curated: from the ephemeral soundscape harnessing the energies of the wild surroundings, provocative art installations, stunning walled gardens and secret idylls of Ballinlough to the tastes, textures and experiences provided by our innovative collaborators. 2017 has been a year to learn, hone and perfect the magic of Body&Soul and this year’s boutique banquet of music, arts & culture is only just getting started. So stay tuned, there’s more to come.
Tickets for Body & Soul are available to purchase here.
Metronomy / Vitalic / Lambchop / Sleaford Mods / Mykki Blanco / Austra / Optimo20 / La Femme / Sinkane / Birdy Nam Nam / Hundred Waters / The Moonlandingz / Songhoy Blues / Tiggs Da Author / Anna Meredith / Formation / A Tribe Called Red / Idiotape / Mammút / King Kong Company / Parcels / Mario Batkovic / Elaine Mai / DBFC / TooFools / Weval / Avalon Emerson / Mr TC / Æ Mak / Miss Red & The Bug / Loah / Kelly-Anne Byrne / Shookrah / Sing Along Social / Ollie Bell / Le Boom / Jinx Lennon / Barq / Katie Laffan / Joni / John Conneely Inc.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.