Stuck for something to do this month that doesn't clash with your dry January?
Well lucky you, because amazing events in music, film, theatre, spoken word, debate and visual art are happening across Dublin this month thanks to a cultural festival in support of mental health.
First Fortnight, the charity organisation behind the festival, aim to promote mental health awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding it by using the arts as a conversation starter for people to chat about their issues.
Asides from being a fantaaastic way to help break down prejudice with talking about our state of mind, the events that are on are absolutely cracking, with Game Of Thrones actor Liam Cunnigham kickstarting the festival last night with a live interview about his experience volunteering in Syria.
Here's a few of the events we're most looking forward to:
Friday, Jan 6th
Join the magnetic Le Galaxie, who are just fresh from an unforgettable Olympia appearance. The band will be joined by R.S.A.G the awe-inspiring drummer who performs live with visual artist Reggetto, and was unveiled as a special headline guest at Knockanstockan 2016. Other performers include Cut Once and Bad Sea.
Saturday, Jan 7th
OutStraight is a very cool pop-up, combining spoken word theatre with visual art graffiti.
The poets share stories on urban experience and youth culture, exposing social and economic situations that the youth of our day face, including gentrification, session culture and mental health. OutStraight invites the public to have an interactive role, in painting words and images, of what mental health means to them.
This Indie film set in Boston, tells the story of a bipolar individual (Mark Ruffalo) who takes over sole responsibility for his two spirited daughters while his wife (Zoe Saldana) attends graduate school in New York. Expect drama and humour in this refreshingly positive portrayal of living with mental illness.
Sunday, Jan 8th
Co-Motion is a really unique event that aims to break down the barriers created by our headphones. You'll be randomly assigned a walking partner, and using a headphone splitter you'll enjoy a stroll around the peaceful setting of the gardens while sharing the songs on your own "get up and go" playlist.
(Online booking for this event is closed but a few tickets are available on the day)
Tuesday, Jan 10th
A fab storytelling event where ten people get the floor for five minutes, starring.....you?.. and featuring nine other names picked at random from “the hat”. If you’d like a chance to get on stage, prepare a 5 minute true personal story based on the monthly theme, this month Hindsight.
The organisers will pull ten names and after each tale, judges from the audience will confer and give a score. The highest score becomes the StorySLAM winner and continues on to the Dublin GrandSLAM Championship.
Wednesday, Jan 11th
Tired of small talk? Conversation Salons are about bringing together all different kinds of people for interesting and uplifting conversation on lots of different topics.
In a relaxed café style setting over tea and coffee in small groups choose from an enticing conversation menu of thought-provoking questions. Be intrigued by the different ideas and opinions you hear. Expect to be surprised!
Saturday, Jan 14th
After recently headlining the Vicar St Venue, Overhead, The Albatross are answering the First Fortnight call and will be headlining another venue, this time the Button Factory. The band is a six piece instrumental outfit from Dublin known for their intricate yet powerful melodies and energetic stage presence. Joined by Otherkin, Windings and Danny Battle, this is a gig not to be missed!