The Grand Stretch

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create 13 May 2022

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First Fortnight Mental Health Art & Culture Festival is delighted to invite you to First Fortnight, The Grand Stretch this June.

We are thrilled to now announce, the much-loved festival staple; Therapy Sessions will take place at its Dublin home in The Workman’s Club on Friday June 24th and at The Duncairn in Belfast on Saturday June 25th.  Tickets are now on sale for both events.  You can buy your tickets Here for Therapy Sessions Dublin and  Here for Therapy Sessions Belfast (full links listed later in this document, again).


Renowned poet Stephen James Smith will once again to MC both nights; the music for the Dublin edition is being curated by one of our most inspired and inspiring artists of recent years; Tolü Makay and features soul songstress, Toshín; Dublin based alternative, neo-soul singer songwriter, Tomike and thrilling Nigerian-born and Cork based conceptual artist, Salamay.  We believe ourselves privileged to have the stunning writer & performer, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan and Scottish poet Iona Lee also join us at the Dublin edition of Therapy Sessions.


In Belfast on June 25th Stephen will steer the event for its second time at this beautiful venue.  Artists featuring include Nandipha Jola (poetry), Peter Murphy / Cursed Murphy (spoken word) and exquisite musician, Ciaran Lavery.


Therapy Sessions displays a collective of spoken word and music which alights our senses and always evokes a wonderful strength of togetherness.  In its regular January home, Therapy Sessions is one of the festival highlights with tickets often selling out well ahead of show day.  Therefore, we are thrilled to give you this opportunity to witness Therapy Sessions, in person this June.  In person, for the first time since 2020.


“It was lovely to be able to present Therapy Sessions online in 2021, but anyone who has ever been to Therapy Sessions, will empathize that the event is not just about the artists, but very much the connection between the artists performing and audience. Therapy Sessions is a powerful, moving, reciprocal dynamic of connectivity.  A very special bond that cannot be emulated online and I am very excited for us all to be able to witness once again, the special moments this event gifts us all.”  Stephen James Smith


“First Fortnight 2022 was designed as a hybrid online / in-person festival. We chose the theme ‘Open’ because we knew we’d need to be open to all eventualities. The agility we built into the programme stood to us and we are thrilled Therapy Sessions will still take place in 2022.”  Maria continued, “This June as part of First Fortnight, The Grand Stretch, being able to gather for this exceptionally personal event; in person for the first time in over two years, adds to our summer in a beautiful way”. - Maria Fleming, CEO First Fortnight


Friday, June 24th Workman’s Club, Main Room, DUBLIN


Saturday, June 25th – The Duncairn, Belfast


For further information, please contact:

Ailish Toohey, First Fortnight Mental Health Art and Culture Festival, 2021 | Public Relations Director
T. +353 87 2313360 | E.

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