Ian Curtis mural unveiled in the Northern Quarter ahead of mental health music festival

A mural of Ian Curtis has been unveiled in Manchester by former Joy Division bandmate Peter Hook

A mural paying tribute to the late Ian Curtis has been unveiled in the Northern Quarter just in time for World Mental Health Day (today, Saturday 10 October)

The legendary musician, who was the lead singer and lyricist of post-punk band Joy Division, took his own life aged just 23 during a long struggle with depression.

The artwork was heartfully revealed by the late singer’s former Joy Division bandmate Peter Hook (also The Light)

The artist, Manchester-based Akse P19, says Ian Curtis was the perfect subject to try to create a conversation around mental health:

“It was a pleasure meeting Peter Hook this week at the mural of Ian Curtis,” says Akse. “It’s based on a photo by [photographer] Philip Pecarly.

“It’s hoped this striking homage to a Manchester music legend will encourage people to continue to speak out and seek help if they need it.”

The brief was commissioned to launch Headstock Weekender festival – a music and wellbeing festival taking place online this weekend – which was originally scheduled for May.

Throughout today (Saturday) and Sunday, a programme of live performances, DJ sets, talks and wellbeing workshops are being streamed for free on the United We Stream platform.

The festival founder, Atheer Al-Salim, hopes it will help bring people together during a worrying and stressful time for those both in and out of the music industry.

Although the festival is free, those who can afford to donate are being urged to contribute to the event’s fundraising page, which aims to raise £20,000 in aid of Help Musicians and Manchester Mind.

The festival itself runs until Sunday (tomorrow) evening, although the Ian Curtis mural will stay in place for the next three years to spread a message of support…

If you’re feeling anxious, lonely, worried, overwhelmed or in need of support text “SHOUT” to 85258 anytime.

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