Avril Stanley, founder of the Body & Soul festival 

Avril Stanley, 48, grew up between Galway and Ontario, Canada. In 1998, she organised the Body & Soul part on the UK’s Big Chill Festival. In 2004, Body & Soul shaped a part of the inaugural Electric Picnic Festival. In 2010, it grew to become at a standalone unbiased arts and music competition and a summer time solstice fixture in Ireland’s cultural calendar. This 12 months’s Body & Soul Festival is at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath, 17-19 June. See:

As a baby, we had a type of outdated document gamers at house. When you lifted the lid, on the left-hand facet, there was somewhat slot for data. The one which caught my consideration was Elvis as a result of it was pink. It was a double vinyl of biggest hits. I completely cherished it. I knew all of the phrases of his songs. He was an unimaginable singer and performer. He’d such charisma and insurgent power about him. He captured my coronary heart in that type of provincial, rural Ireland manner.

Sinéad O’Connor 

Growing up, Sinéad O’Connor was this unimaginable feminine Irish voice. She challenged the norm, the established order, the papacy, but additionally she had this distinctive voice and presence who would shave her head and paint herself gold. She was a revolutionary artist.


Moloko emerged when dance music began coming by way of within the Nineteen Nineties. It was a female-led duo with Róisín Murphy and Mark Brydon. They have been a dancefloor filler. To this present day, when Sing it Back comes in your arms instantly shoot up within the air and also you bear in mind your first membership evening in, say, Sir Henry’s the place anyone did a remix of it.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

 The most epic gig of my life was Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Body & Soul. We have been a 5,000 capability competition. It was wonderful to have an artist of that calibre carry out on our artist-commissioned picket stage. It was such a tiny stage. He simply took it on. He did not do this complete artist diva factor. He grabbed that stage and he owned that viewers. He’s a modern-day shaman – he not solely conjured the viewers but additionally the climate. It was pouring rain until he got here on. The rain stopped after which this ginormous full moon got here up behind his head. It’s a goosepimples second serious about it.

The late Michael Hutchence of INXS.
The late Michael Hutchence of INXS.

Seeing INXS

 When I used to be about 12, I used to be introduced by my cousin to see Michael Hutchence and INXS in Canada. Seeing somebody like him at such a younger age, he was like pure intercourse on stage, this star-studded god strutting round. I’ll always remember him singing Never Tear Us Apart. He had purple roses woven into his hair. It was a second that made me suppose, ‘Mmmh, I like this world’.

Kate Bush’s comeback gig

 Seeing Kate Bush at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in 2014 blew my thoughts. It was the primary collection of stay reveals she had carried out since 1979. It was this three-hour multimedia efficiency that fused music – her and her band performing – but additionally dancers, puppets, conceptual staging, 3D animation, theatrical stage scenes that will change on a regular basis. I’ve by no means seen theatre, efficiency, artwork, music and dance woven along with that degree of cohesion. That’s Kate Bush – she’s an artist and perfectionist of the best diploma. She continues to be my favorite artist.

Woodford Folk Festival 

 The Woodford Folk Festival in Australia is way about artwork, creativity and sweetness. It has spectacle and parade and ceremony that’s integral to it. It has a lot range: Polynesian tradition blended in with Aboriginal tradition blended with Asian tradition. Something inclusive, for everyone. It has an enormous emphasis round viewers participation. People can be there for 5 days and 5 nights. The festivals that symbolize a extra different tradition the place they set the scene for one thing that is an immersive cultural expertise, and that is not at all times line-up pushed, have at all times been the festivals that spur me on to do one thing at that ilk in Ireland.

Burning Man Festival 

The Burning Man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is wonderful when it comes to the artwork, the creativity, the tradition, the ethos, the best way by which individuals invite you into their world, the bartering – there isn’t any cash. The alternative to inform tales and weave cultures and swap tales after which be in the midst of these oddities like “the fat slags’ camp” – these wonderful group of huge girls, lounging round with their sombreros and cocktails and the wonderful theatre items they’d do. People bouncing bare on a trampoline at sundown. No holds barred. “Only be here if you want to participate.” 

The Burning Man festival in Reno, Nevada. 
The Burning Man competition in Reno, Nevada. 

 Protect the pearl 

John Reynolds [founder of Electric Picnic] actually believed in me. He acquired behind me. He gave me free reign to do my very own factor. Knew that I wasn’t one to be managed. He additionally inspired me. He used to inform me “protect the pearl”. I perceive what he meant by that: defend the factor that you have constructed, defend the factor that you have given your life value to. Be cautious and conscious of the alternatives you make alongside the best way, which within the music trade is usually a difficult factor to do.

Advice for troublesome occasions

 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times is a e-book by Chödron Pema, a Buddhist nun and meditation instructor. I’ve gone on to grow to be a psychotherapist. I’m impressed by Buddhist academics and particularly feminine academics and those which have taken fairly advanced teachings and simplified them into actually bite-sized items for peculiar of us like me. Sometimes you want one thing to lean into that provides you suggestions and abilities and practices in an effort to handle these vastly transitional and difficult occasions that we’re all residing by way of.

The Last Bohemians

 A journalist known as Kate Hutchinson has a podcast known as The Last Bohemians. It’s cool and avant-garde – she interviews feminine, controversial outsiders in artwork and tradition. Her visitors are potent, highly effective and dynamic girls. She’s interviewed all types from Judy Collins to Cosey Fanni Tutti to Molly Parkin.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

 A favorite movie, which broke my coronary heart, is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and Louise Fletcher. It’s an unimaginable story, which challenges the apply of institutionalising sufferers in a psychological institute. Jack Nicholson is among the sufferers. He is such a tremendous actor. He’s acquired that twinkle in his eye. In the movie, he brings out the opposite characters’ tales and finds their humanity. It’s unhappy and exquisite and provocative and painful. All the issues {that a} movie may be.

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