This panel will be discussing the issue surrounding mental health and well-being in the music industry. Our panellists have a wealth of experience in this area and are from different sections of the music industry. We will discuss how venues can look after their staff in an environment that is often seen to promote bad habits – excessive drinking, drug use, etc. In a similar vein, we’ll talk about how venues can ensure that their gig-goers are provided for if they have any additional needs, and what measures can be put in place to help those who face extra challenges. We will also talk about the pressures artists face on tour, what to look out for, and how those around them can help to manage these pressures. We will finish the conversation on discussing what, and how, mental health awareness and facilities can be improved in the music industry.
JOE HASTINGS – HELP MUSICIANS UK (M)
Joe heads up the team in Health & Welfare, providing life-changing frontline support services to musicians in need across genres and career stages. He oversees all health and welfare activities for the charity and is responsible for the development of new support services. He was instrumental in facilitating the delivery of the Musicians Hearing Health Scheme, which to date has had a record intake of 12,000 musicians accessing state-of-the-art hearing advice and protection. Joe has been integral to the team in creating and delivering the around the clock listening ear service Music Minds Matter, which launched in December 2017. Joe is passionate about developing a range of innovative support services focused on the needs of those working in the industry throughout their careers. An accomplished musician, when not at HMUK Joe composes music for films.
LIZ CARLEY-LEONARD – THE SHED, LEICESTER
Elisabeth Carley-Leonard is the owner of The Shed in Leicester. At 25 she took over the venue in order to save it from becoming flats, and set about on the task to breathe live back into it with the assistance of an incredible team. Almost 3 years in, and The Shed is now fast becoming a des res for touring bands and has built a solid community for its attendees.
NICK SIMCOCK – OPORTO
Nick Simcock is a festival director, venue manager, mini-label founder, and in-house promoter at the legendary Leeds bar Oporto. He started his career in Sheffield, working on early shows for the Arctic Monkeys alongside the likes of The Killers, Bloc Party and the huge wave of indie artists who came through circa 2005. He went on to do touring work for Island Records and with bands such as Babyshambles and The Bravery. Nick was then snapped up by Sheffield Students’ Union as an in-house promoter at the multi-award winning venues that the city is known for, promoting and breaking acts as varied as Mark Ronson, Metronomy and Russell Brand. Nick co-founded Dead Young Records, a Northern record label and promotions company. A&Ring acts such as Paul Thomas Saunders and The Lucid Dream whilst promoting shows for a diverse range of acts including Richard Hawley, Dutch Uncles and Julia Holter in venues as varied as Art Deco cinemas, gothic churches, boats and wooded glades.
STEPH LANGAN – TONIC MENTAL HEALTH
Tonic Music for Mental Health is a not-for-profit based in the South-Coast of England, and was established June 2012. Tonic raises awareness and challenges the stigma often associated with mental illness through music and arts based events. We organise free music workshops, gigs, music tuition, a Tonic Ska Choir as well as community projects throughout the year for people experiencing mental health problems. Tonic supports musicians and artists by funding art and music projects and the purchase of equipment and instruments to further their craft. In the current climate of austerity measures and government cuts, services available to people with mental health problems are often limited and hard to access. We aim to support people who may already be receiving input from mental health services and those who have not had any previous contact to provide an inclusive support network to help people through their recovery.