The legends over at Movember have been helping Aussie blokes kick the blues and address their mental health issues for a fair few years now. In fact, since the lockdown began they’ve been pulling double duty, making sure that the nation’s men aren’t succumbing to social isolation. It’s a cause we here at Man of Many can really get behind and we hope you can too. This Friday marks one of the team’s favourite days on the calendar, May 8, the national day of May8-ship and of course, Movember is putting on a party to celebrate.
The team is launching MAYEIGHT Festival, an innovative virtual festival of mateship which will be live-streamed through the Movember Facebook Live feed. It’s a pretty innovative take on the old festival fundraiser, but as Rachel Carr, Movember country director explains, the team wasn’t going to let lockdown get the better of them.
“While physical gatherings are off the table, we can still find creative ways for men to connect through virtual experiences and events, which also helps to give our lives a sense of normalcy,” she said. “What we’d be excited to see on May 8 is guys inviting a mate to attend MAYEIGHT Festival, and then setting themselves the challenge of going beyond the banter to talk about the some of the stuff that really matters.”
MAYEIGHT Festival kicks off at 7am on Friday, May 8 and features sets filmed from the homes of well-known Aussie musicians and comedians, as well as fitness, yoga and meditation sessions. The first artist announcement includes The Aston Shuffle, Bag Raiders, Set Mo, Close Counters and Hockey Dad, alongside comedians Sam Simmons, Harley Breen, Michael Shafar, Suren Jayemanne and Lauren Edwards. The festival is hosted by former Goggleboxers’ Adam & Symon and Hit radio duo Tom & Olly and is supported by lululemon, Menulog, Politix and Stihl.
lululemon ambassador and founder of Fitness XO, Jimmy Taylor stepping in on the day to host the festival’s MO SWEAT session, a paired fitness challenge for mates. “Staying active can play an important role in connecting guys. Making exercise with a mate part of your routine is one of the best things you can do if you’re struggling – it makes any workout a lot more enjoyable if you’ve got a mate supporting you. It also helps hold you accountable,” he says.
We’re all keen to get in on the action tomorrow, but it’s important to remember the wider picture. Aussie guys are statistically very likely to suffer from mental illness, so opening up that conversation between mates is important, now more than ever. If you need advice on how to support a mate who is struggling, check out Movember Conversations at movember.com. The recently launched online tool is designed to help strengthen informal conversations and make the task of having those hard chats a little easier.
To get involved in MAYEIGHT Festival, tune in to Movember Australia’s Facebook Live feed on Friday, May 8 (AEST).