In recent years, festivals have become about so much more than the music – and none more so than Body&Soul.
While it might seem contradictory (and a little bit ridiculous, we know) to focus on the non-musical features of what is essentially a music festival, Body&Soul manages to strike a superb balance between both elements. In other words, not only will you be wowed by some big international names like Santigold, Sun Kil Moon, St. Germain, Wolf Parade, Mercury Rev and more, but you'll have your fancy tickled by a wide array of various other kinds of entertainment in the numerous nooks and crannies of the beautiful Ballinlough Castle estate.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the ten best non-musical shenanigans that will help you to Go Full Festival at this year's Body&Soul.
1. LUCENT DOSSIER
This Los Angeles-based troupe are renowned the world over for their approach to avant-garde circus entertainment. Expect fire, dance, aerial arts and much more when they bring their theatrical spectacle to the Midsummer Nights by Absolut stage.
2. GIF YOURSELF
This year at festivals, Vodafone are doing more than preventing Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact - (yes, it’s actually a thing). Along with recharging phones, they're doing a little extra by helping festival-goers to 'go full festival'. At Body&Soul, hit the Vodafone Recharge Room to visit the ‘gif booth’; Vodafone will be teaming up with It’s the Flashpack to help festival-goers capture the ultimate festival gif. They can then share their personalised gifs through their social media channels and will even get a Polaroid printout to take home with them.
3. ART INSTALLATIONS
It goes without saying that a pretty festival site makes for a nicer atmosphere – it wouldn't quite be the same with dodgy chip vans and a few boring stages strewn across a desolate, empty festival landscape. Body&Soul has prettiness in abundance, and enhancing the natural beauty of Ballinlough this year will be art installations by Irish artists Felix Power, Aoife Banville and Jane Groves, amongst others. They've been commissioned to create installations specifically for the Woodlands area, and we can't wait to see what they come up with.
4. ARBUTUS YARNS FRONT PORCH
The man behind Arbutus Yarns, documentary and music video maker Myles O'Reilly, has worked with some eminent names on the Irish indie and folk scenes, including Villagers, Glen Hansard, The Script, Lisa Hannigan and more. Over the weekend, he will curate a programme of laidback spoken-word and music, but will also be screening work from his own catalogue of 100+ videos in the laidback, rustic den that is the Arbutus Yarns Front Porch.
5. THE CHILLOUT AREA
As much as we want to 'Go Full Festival' and make the most of every moment at Body&Soul, it's important to take some time to relax, too - so within the Vodafone Recharge Room, there'll be a Chillout Area where revellers can relax on poufs, watch classic movies on a big screen courtesy of Vodafone TV, and enjoy light, chilled refreshments.
6. THEATRE BY ANU PRODUCTIONS
Any arts festival worth its salt has a decent spoken word or theatre programme, and Body&Soul is no exception. This year, you can expect productions by theatre company Anu Productions, including the 1916-set 'Rebel Rebel', as well as a play specially commissioned for the festival, 'Every Morning I Wake and Seem to Forget' – which "will take participants on a mystery journey through the festival grounds, as they participate in an unfolding story". Colour us intrigued.
7. SOLAS BATH HOUSE & THE SANCTUARY
If you're anything like us, the feet are growing increasingly weary as your festival experience unfolds, and the back is giving you a bit of trouble. Or maybe we're just getting old. Either way, you'll have the opportunity to soothe your weary bones – or alternatively, prep yourself for the weekend with a little TLC – at the Solas Bath House and The Sanctuary, where you can avail of a variety of holistic treatments, yoga workshops, hot tubs and seaweed baths. Sure why not?
8. GET YOUR FACE PAINTED
There's no reason why you shouldn't continue to look your best at Body&Soul, whether you've spent the night slumming in a tent or not. Want a helping hand in order to Go Full Festival? The Vodafone Ireland Foundation will be on hand roaming the festival grounds to paint your face with whatever outlandish design you desire, working their magic to distract attention from those tired eyes; you can go for a dainty flower (above), full-face tiger (recommended) or whatever else you'd like. Best of all, all profits go to Childline.
9. BODY HOLIDAYS
If you're a fan of '80s sitcom Hi-De-Hi! – or even if you're not – Body&Soul has just the thing for you. Body Holidays is a 70s-style holiday camp described as "a candy coloured kitsch haven of fun and entertainment", where you'll be able to indulge in outdoor games, ping pong, dress-up fun and glamour in the beauty parlour. It'll be chalet-loads of fun.
10. SOUL KIDS
There's plenty of stuff for the little people at Body&Soul, too, thanks to the Soul Kids programme. You'll find fairy face painting, arts & crafts, woodland activities, games, yoga for the little'uns, storytelling and more – ensuring that the childers come away from the festival with just as big a grin on their faces as mum and dad.
Vodafone Centre Stage is back with some of the best loved music and comedy festivals this summer. For news and chances to win tickets visit centrestage.vodafone.ie or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out the Vodafone Centre Stage playlist for Body&Soul 2016 on Spotify below: