The First Fortnight Festival 2018 has launched across the country

The mental health arts festival is taking place in 17 counties nationwide

Written by Hannah Byrne


The First Fortnight Festival 2018 has officially launched, with events taking place in Dublin and selected venues across Ireland over the next two weeks from January 1st – January 14th.

What is First Fortnight?

First Fortnight is an Irish arts festival which takes place annually to challenge stigma around mental health in Ireland. This is the ninth First Fortnight Festival which hosts live music, film, theatre, poetry, discussions, arts, and sports events.

These events will open up a conversation around mental health with the aim of creating a deeper understanding of mental health issues and challenging stigma and prejudice around mental health.

Festival highlights:

Lunatic, There I Go is a play based on the book ‘Bird’s Nest Soup’, a memoir by Hanna Grealy. At the age of 19 Hanna was wrongfully sent to an Irish lunatic asylum for more than 20 years. Her book was published in 1971. This play will be at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght. Tickets here.

Don’t Worry Be APPY is a panel discussion looking at the relationship between technology and mental health. Is technology reshaping how we respond to mental health issues? This event takes place at the Jonathan Swift Theatre in Trinity College, Dublin. Tickets here.

#InOurHourOfNeed this panel debate chaired by radio DJ and mental health advocate Nikki Hayes asks the question: What is the state of Ireland’s mental health services? How can you help? The debate will focus on Ireland’s current mental health policy. Debate will be held in association with Mental Health Reform and A Lust For Life in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin. Tickets here.

The Big Gig takes place every year to round off the First Fortnight Festival. This year’s line-up features Rusangano Family, Ailbhe Reddy, Le Boom, and A. Smyth. The Big Gig takes place on January 13th in Tramline in Dublin. Tickets here.

For more information and a full list of events, click here.

Our work is supported by