- 10 Dec 19
The massive festival, which spans across the whole month, is set to begin on January 2nd.
The First Fortnight Festival 2020 is a little under a month away. The epic event spans the country and provides a series of unique events, many of which are free, that aim to combat the stigma surrounding mental health conversations.
Specifically, you can expect to see Ham Sandwich’s Therapy Sessions, Richie Sadlier, Pat Kinevane’s Silent, a world premiere by Stephen James Smith with the Irish National Opera and many more family and child-friendly events, music, sports, comedy, theatre, film, panel discussions, listening events and workshops. In addition, comedian, writer and broadcaster Colm O’Regan, former athlete David Gillick, international rugby player Hannah Tyrell, actor Tadhg Hickey (CCCahoots), musician John Spillane and actor John Connors with further special guests to be announced.
The First Fortnight charity was instrumental in founding the European Arts Festival model and helped stage Europe’s first mental health arts festival in Athens, Greece in 2016. First Fortnight subsequently hosted the European Mental Health Arts Festival in communities across Ireland in 2019.
Since its early days, First Fortnight has become a fixture in the cultural calendar and synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.
First Fortnight also runs a Centre for Creative Therapies, which provides an art psychotherapy and music therapy service to adults with experience of homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
We would like to gratefully acknowledge the core funding support we receive from the HSE’s National Office of Suicide Prevention (NOSP), without whom First Fortnight would not be possible.
This year the themes explored in the festival are isolation, loneliness and community. Over the 9 editions of the festival, they've brought a passionate group of hardworking volunteers, families, organisations and charities together to create a First Fortnight community to combat such feelings of stigma. Through consistent changes in the community, they've helped to foster a more healthy society.
Speaking to the power of the event, programme co-ordinator Edel Doran said “It is through consistent changes in our community, society as a whole can be changed. We invite you to attend our festival and leave feeling part of our ever-growing community."
Of the festival, Minister Daly tells Hot Press; “This is a fitting focus for the festival which over its nine years has been a central fixture in our annual calendar during the month of January. The time of year when sadly, statistics show loneliness at its most prevalent."
Read all about the incredible festival, which features 119 events (many of which are free) here!