We spent the evening at the Pickle Factory to listen to the Percolate Panel discuss Mental Health and Music, held with an aim to identify key issues, reduce stigma and build a roadmap to better mental health support within the industry and beyond. This is one of multiple events that Percolate hold to raise funding and awareness with Mind.
“The music industry faces many challenges, but none are as widespread and current as the state of mental health… Mental health issues affect all areas of the business and have now reached a crisis point… 71.1% of all respondents to a Mind survey believe they have suffered from panic attacks and/ or high levels of anxiety, and 68.5% reported they have suffered from depression.” Percolate & Mind on Resident Advisor.
Guests included UK Techno DJ and Producer- Ben Pearce, Naomi Williams (Music PR, Totem), Clare Scivier (Artist Mentor and Life Coach), Emma Mamo (Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind) and hosted by music journalist, Lauren Martin.
The discussion aimed to open the doors for both musicians and members of the music industry to be able to speak freely about their personal struggles, due to the pressures of their lifestyle that affects their mental well-being. Pearce discussed the loneliness of touring and the need to appear the way that fans and peers perceive you to be and how hard it is to open yourself up in those circumstances. Williams gave insight into the pressure from the flip side of the industry and how there should be attention drawn to the wellbeing of staff from major labels as well as artists, which was strongly supported by Clare Scivier who has experienced multiple artists and colleagues struggling with mental health issues throughout her long career within the music industry.
Factors such as lack of sleep, high stress, poor diet, heavy drinking and drug use seem to be at the root of concern over the mental health and general well-being of industry members, aside from the general pressures of having success and reaching sales targets, live shows etc.
From the perspective of the promoter and the organiser, it opens up the question of whether we should we be endorsing this lifestyle or providing riders which focus around wellbeing and mindfulness? Sustainability for touring artists is a core concern for the festival organiser and therefore should we be plugging artists with spirits or health foods? We certainly concentrate in the process of festival organisation on the wellbeing of the customers, therefore should we be talking to charities such as Mind to organise volunteers back stage, not just within the crowd to be there to support artists?