West Cork Feel Good Festival takes place every autumn, organised by 49 North Street – a creative space in Skibbereen that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing – and a broad range of community partners. Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, the festival continues to expand year on year, geographically and in scope, with this year’s edition running from 1 to 31 October.
The festival was established to coincide with World Mental Health day on 10 October. In 2023, there are events and workshops across a raft of West Cork towns and villages including: Adrigole, Ardgroom, Ballydehob, Bantry, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Glengarriff, Kealkill, Leap, Rosscarbery, Schull, and Skibbereen. The venues vary from pubs to shops, family resource centres, national schools, hotels, a community café, nature reserve, and a heritage centre.
The festival’s themes are creativity and connection. Connection is important to us, as individuals. You could say it is the key to wellbeing. Being connected to ourselves, first and foremost, but also to other people, to the (local and global) community, to our culture and last but not least, to nature. Creativity offers the tools that we need to transform not just our mood and mental state but also, eventually, the wider world, step by step.
The festival is full of experiential workshops that offer moments of exploration, discovery, and connection. Audiences have an opportunity to engage with music and other creative arts, peer support, projects highlighting the Irish language, stories, reflective and interactive sessions, self-help techniques, and encounters with nature.
This year’s programme includes concerts by Duke Special, Síomha and the Claddagh Rogues, forest bathing, pop-up Gaeltachts, singing and storytelling, choir performances, gamelan, a men’s group, doughnut economics workshops, a clothes swap, Boom Box Bike Ride, Tai Chi, nutritional information, Grandparents Day, breath work, poetry readings on World Mental Health Day (10 October), an open discussion around complex trauma, shame and recovery, photography sessions, and film screenings. And that’s just a sample!
The full programme can be downloaded here or accessed at https://www.musicalive.ie/west-cork-feel-good-festival
Partners / Sponsors
Community Health Care Cork Kerry, MusicAlive, Levis Corner House, Cork Education and Training Board, HSE Mental Health Engagement & Recovery, Leap Scarecrow Festival, Ludgate Hub, Resonate/Skibbereen Arts Festival, Oliver Cogan.