Our First Fortnight Festival picks

The festive season can undoubtably be a conflicting time for many of us, when social and financial expectations are high coupled with what seems like a race into the new year to be the most pious/thin/vice-less versions of ourselves.

As we focus more on the tangible things such as gifts and clobber, the intangible, such as mental health can often get neglected and pushed aside.

With that in mind, we've complied a list of events for you to check out at First Fortnight; Irelands mental health arts festival running from the 1 - 14 January.

Now in it's ninth year, the festival offers a stunning smorgasbord of cultural events aiming to challenge the stigma and preconceptions around our mental well being.

The Public Diary

January 5th, The Festival House, 6.30pm, Free Admission

The Public Diary is an interactive multimedia installation showcasing the inner thoughts of last years First Fortnight participants who were invited to scribble down their feelings in the comfort of the public toilets. The aim of this exhibition is to broadcast the voices of those who shared previously and highlight how cathartic it can be to just part with an idea or thought onto paper. The exhibition will open on Friday 5 January in The Festival House and is free to attend.


January 6th, The Bernard Shaw, 3.30pm, Free Admission

Anyone lucky enough to catch Outstraight last year knows just how unique and inspiring this spoken work and graffiti jam is. Some of Dublin's finest wordsmiths including Lewis Kenny and Ailish Kerr will be sharing their stories on urban experience and youth culture while acclaimed artists such as Solus will be spray painting the walls of The Bernard Shaw. This is one event absolutely not to be missed.

The Dublin StorySlam

January 8th, Sugar Club, 7pm €8.00

This monthly story telling event has teamed up with First Fortnight for January and are inviting audience members to share a short (4-7 minutes) story along the theme of 'voices'. They want you to

"Tell us about the time the bully shouted at you during the day, or your inner demons whispered to you at night. We’re also looking for stories about the one voice who always told you can do it,when everyone else said you couldn’t". Those wishing to participate are asked to email in advance the opening line of your story to [email protected] or by popping your name into a bucket on the night.

First Fortnight: Pierrot

January 9th, National Gallery of Ireland, 1:15 - 1:45, Free Admission

For the art lovers out there, a free talk about Juan Gris’s Cubist painting, Pierrot. Participants will explore the work in the context of mental health and the arts. Also it's completely free and there is no booking required. Meet in front of the painting in Room 5, Millennium Wing.

Banter - An Evening with Barry Hyde (FutureHeads)

January 9th, The Workmans Club, 6:45, €12.50

In the latest instalment of the popular series of Banter podcasts, host Jim Carroll will welcome Barry Hyde of Futureheads fame on stage to chat about his battle with panic attacks and showcase his new album 'Malody' which was written to as an insight into his chronic mental health problems.

Conversation Salon

January 9th, Third Space Coffee, 7pm, Free Admission

The organisers of First Fortnight know well that sometimes all we really need is a good conversation with people who'll listen. Conversation Salons will be happening throughout the country during the month of January in relaxed environments such as coffee shops where you can choose from a menu of thought-provoking topics to discuss alongside Life Coach Heather Bourke.

Therapy Sessions

January 12th, The Workmans Club, 8pm, €10

Curated by the Dublin based alt rock band Delorentas - Therapy sessions is a night of live music by none other than the outstanding gal band Pillow Queens and Limerick lads Bleeding Heart Pigeons and the emerging artist on everyones lips Farah Elle. There'll be spoken word on the night too, from Grand Slam Sunday winner Dagogo Hart Dagogo amongst others.

The Big Gig

January 13th, Tramline, 8pm, €12

Join Rusangano Family,LE BOOM, Ailbhe Reddy and A.Smyth in one of Dublin's newest venues, Tramline for whats guarenteed to be a corker of a gig.


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