Promoting mental health through music and poetry.


Festival in a Van is delighted to bring The Jukebox Project back for a second year to new residences in 2024 in collaboration with the HSE and Mental Health Ireland with funding from the Arts Council

The Jukebox Project invites clients in community residences who have experienced mental health difficulties to discuss amongst themselves and with staff their favourite poems and songs. This feeds into a collaborative setlist, which is turned into a two-way live performance brought straight to our audience's door from the Festival in a Van stage.

We have been thrilled to collaborative with the HSE and Mental Health Ireland in such a fun and collaborative way. Mental Health Ireland is the longest established mental health charity in Ireland. Throughout their history they and the Mental Health Associations have played a central role in reshaping how the public understand mental health issues. Since 1966, they have been front and centre in promoting mental health, supporting people with lived experience of mental health challenges in their recovery and bringing practical expression to national policy objectives.

Festival in a Van are delighted to continue our goal of reaching audiences who might sometimes feel marginalised from the arts, by bringing the show on the road directly to Mental Health Ireland’s clients. We are planning to continue this tour, and look forward to hearing all the requests!

the jukebox project 2023

In April 2023, Festival in a Van with the HSE and Mental Health Ireland funded by the Arts Council, visited Mullingar and Longford for a two-day tour to community residencies.

These visits featured poets Rachael Hegarty and Mary Melvin Geoghegan, as well as musicians Fin Furey and Emma Warren. Our amazing performers brought their audiences on a musical and poetic journey, all from our own Festival in a Van stage.

Requests included everything from Frank Sinatra to Irish ballads to Country Western, and lots of appetite for poems by John O'Donoghue.

'I work to empower clients to become socially inclusive, to recover and connect to their communities. One of the sectors that is requested continuously is the arts, music, and poetry. Music and poetry gives and receives […]. The musicians from The Jukebox Tour brought and gave hope solidarity, inspiration and solace.’ – Staff member, Mental Health Ireland

'I love to hear my favourite songs, thanks to the musician and poet for playing and reciting my favourite songs and poems. I have not heard a band in a very long time.' – Service User