Official line up for First Fortnight Festival 2019 released

The First Fortnight Festival raises awareness about mental health through art, theatre, music and much more

Written by Ailbhe De Castro


The First Fortnight Festival 2019 official lineup has just been released – which includes us here at!

What is First Fortnight?

The First Fortnight Festival is an Irish Arts Festival which takes place throughout the country, inviting people everywhere to enjoy live music, film, theatre, poetry, discussions, and art to raise awareness about mental health. What is unique about this 10th First Fortnight Festival is that it is also hosting the European Mental Health Art and Culture Festival. This year, the festival will showcase the European community through representatives from all over Europe. There have been over 140 submissions from 22 countries, and all have been used to create change around how mental health is understood, discussed and responded to.

Statistics show that, while improving, there is still a stigma attached to suffering with your mental health, with four out of 10 people hiding a mental health diagnosis from family, friends and colleagues. The events being run across Ireland are a starting point and opportunity to open up and discuss mental health, and hopefully change this mindset.

Festival Highlights for 2019:

Listed below are the events that have been chosen as must sees taking place during the festival.

Film: Beautiful Boy.

Starring Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy is a story which follows a family over years as they experience, recover from and cope with an addiction.

  • There will be a special premiere of the film for the Festival on the 18th January, 2019 at the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: €9.50

Music: The Big Gig, Featuring Paddy Hanna, Molly Sterling and Brave Giant.

The Big Gig brings together a large lineup of music for a long night of music and dancing. This year, the Big Gig is showcasing cult figure Paddy Hanna, singer and songwriter Molly Sterling, and the indie/folk band from Longford, Brave Giant. This night promises to be one not to miss.

  • This event is happening at Tramline 5 Hawkins Street, Dublin 2 at 8pm on 12th January, 2019.
  • Cost: €12

Discussion: Positive Mental Health (School Event).

Healthy Ireland are partnering with to host several Positive Mental Health workshops for young people over the course of 5 days. In these talks, our Outreach and Training Officer, Kiki Martire, will run an open discussion about de-stigmatising mental health and look at ways to reinforce positive mental health.

  • This event will take place at various times from the 14th to the 19th January, 2019 in Waterford Central Library.
  • Cost: Free

Theatre: WOMB.

WOMB displays a parallel view on women in society. Set in Dystopian Dublin 100 years from now, and home sharing has become an official order. Advancements in technology and government rule are impeding on the mental and physical health of women and care providers.

  • This event will take place between the 14th and 19th January, 2019 in Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: €12/15

Poetry: Slam Sunday.

Slam Sunday is a live poetry competition in Dublin City Centre. Poets sign up in a twenty minute slot before the event begins, and judges selected from the audience get to decide on which competitors win cash prizes.

Art: Wellbeing Wall.

The European Direct Information Centre Waterford has partnered with the Walls Project to create a mental health themed artwork piece. This artwork will attempt to open up a discussion around mental health issues. Leaflets and information will also be provided.

  • This event will take place between the 4th and 19th January, 2019 at Waterford Central Library.
  • Cost: Free

For further information on these events, and for the full Festival line up, please click here.

Our work is supported by