Two of our very best pals – Dan Kirby from TechDept and Jenni Cochrane from AEI – are launching something so so important, and we just had to share the news with you all... Here goes:
We’re launching the world’s first 24 hour festival of the head
Do you want to get ahead in your life? Who doesn’t? Whatever slice of humanity, you probably want to grow, provide, succeed. And there’s never been a better time to go for it.
Modern life has abundant choice and opportunity. We’re safer, richer and healthier than ever before in human history. Yet despite all the good stuff, this world seems to fry our minds. Mental health issues are increasing. Wouldn’t it be good to get ahead in life without burning out?
That’s why we’re launching Getahead Festival, the world’s first 24-hour festival of the head. From 6am on Wednesday 13th June to 6am on Thursday 14th (during London Tech Week). We’re going to celebrate life, whilst acknowledging the pitfalls.
In an amazing space called Omeara — near London Bridge — we’ll start with yoga and a sober rave, then talks, panel discussions, live comedy, live music, more yoga, meditation, productivity workshops, an event called The Tech Off, pop gigs, party DJs, and an epic disco dancing rave-up til dawn. All streamed online.
We have a 25 year plan (yes, really) to positively impact a billion people (yes, really).
Our aim is to nudge all those people away from the hole I dug for myself and that’s taken over a decade to get out of.
What success doesn’t look like
In 2006 I went on holiday to Ibiza and came back with a chest cold, which was actually pneumonia. Turned out I’d burnt out.
Outwardly my life looked like a runaway success. I was an early 30-something with a fast-growing business, fabulous partner, healthy daughter (and another on the way), cute house in the country, exotic holidays.
I wasn’t burning the candle at both ends, I was blow-torching it:
I often “had a cold”. Was always “tired”. Or “needed a holiday”. So I drank Lemsip, took afternoon naps and flew to foreign resorts. None of which fixed the problem. I reached rock bottom just in time for the birth of my second daughter.
You wouldn’t have known I was struggling. I kept up a great shop front. Plus I didn’t even admit it to myself. If you asked me if I could cope, the answer would be “of course”.
Fast forward, I’ve been diagnosed with depression and have battled to create more balance in my life. Through trial and error my wife and I learnt ways for me to survive, while trying to make something of my life. But the process started in 2007, and we’re now in 2018. That’s a long time to limp along.
Yet I see my history repeating, and it is happening earlier.
I know two mid-20’s entrepreneurs (Joe & Sam) who’ve crashed in the last two years. The reason why will probably sound familiar: always “crushing it”, always connected, always “out”. You can sleep when you’re dead. Well Joe nearly died in his sleep. He was hooked on a cocktail of stress, caffeine and Gary Vaynerchuck videos. They are both now back in action and better than ever (and they’ll both be sharing their lessons at Getahead).
People believe that success must mean the sacrifice of your time, wellbeing and relationships. It doesn’t. Success is finding time, having good health, family and friends. Of course, a shit-load of cash and industry status is fun. But not at the expense of the other stuff.
My generation is burning out because of this. But millennials are burning out faster.
Maybe if someone had shown me a different path in my 20’s I’d have avoided my problems. Maybe not. But we feel a duty to try.
That’s the driving force behind our festival.
Impact a billion people
People are opening up about their mental health, which is great. But how can we avoid getting those health issues in the first place? And if you have them, how can you better integrate them into your life? By posing those questions and together searching for answers we can make a difference.
I’ve teamed up with an amazing woman called Jenni Cochrane to make this happen (she’s known as “the Queen of Everything” at Getahead Festival). We’ve committed to a 25 year plan to positively impact a billion people.
You’re probably asking “how can they impact a billion people?!”
We live in a world of exponentially growing technologies. Reaching a billion people is well within our grasp, not least because the people we speak to share our concerns and want to do their part. Does that include you?
Are you going to join us on June 13 2018 in London?
Our vision is to grow the scope of Getahead Festival in London each year, so that we eventually create “the SXSW of mental health & wellbeing”.
If you haven’t been to SXSW in Austin Texas, during that time the city is alive with events and happenings, world class speakers and the latest in tech, film and music.
We believe we can act as a lightning-rod for all the amazing activity, people and goodwill that exist around this issue. We want Getahead to put London on the map as a global beacon of positive thinking around mental health, wellbeing and ‘success’.
As we have listed above, our aim is to franchise the concept so that other cities can leverage our thinking and experience.
We would love to create a ‘Getahead Day’ where events are co-ordinated across the same single 24 hour period. Each city passing the baton to the other, like the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Right now we have no idea how that will happen but WE WANNA! ☺
We took our event The Tech Off to SXSW in 2017, it will also appear at Getahead
What can you do?
If you think that sounds good then there are some concrete things you can do right now:
You should pursue your dreams, go for your goals, aim high and get success. But the price of that should not be your health, your relationships and your enjoyment of life. Together we can help stop unnecessary suffering.
Success comes in many forms, we want you to find what truly works for you.
Creator & Co-Founder
Find me on Twitter @TheDanKirby
Find Jenni on Twitter @jennifercochra1
Sign up for more information and get first dibs on tickets at www.getahead.life