The everyday rigors of being a touring musician can have weathering effects on those that depend on the insane schedules for their livelihood. Behind the crazy stage antics and beautiful songs can possibly be an artist struggling to maintain their mental and physical health.
Kid Cudi and Ben Pearce, along with Benga and Moby, are just a handful of names that have been tied to mental health lately- whether it be leaving the industry indefinitely or speaking out about it, it's increasingly becoming a publicly discussed issue.
The University of Westminster, Music Tank, and Help Musicians UK have teamed up together to craft a new study that explores depression and mental health in the music industry.
The results are shocking, to say the least. '71% of respondents believed they have experienced anxiety and panic attacks,' and '65% reported they had suffered from depression.'
The study received this data from 2,211 music industry workers, with 66.2% of its participants being between the ages of 18-35, and with a relatively equal split between male and female respondents (55.2% male, 43.9% female). 39% were musicians, and the rest were split between DJs, live crew, and music management.
One study-respondent was noted as saying-
“My depression is made worse by trying to exist as a musician... Rarely has playing music been detrimental to my health, quite the opposite...but the industry and socio-economic pressures...make this a f*****g s**** industry to try and make a living in”.
Many attribute their emotional state to the poor working conditions, which leaves open the discussion of providing better health options for working artists and their teams.
Richard Robinson, HMUK Chief Executive said:
“Sadly the results of this survey don’t come as a surprise and paint a concerning picture of the conditions for those working in the music industry. This survey is a vital first step in helping us to establish the scale of the problem and it highlights the importance of the next phases of the survey, which will provide us with recommendations for launching the first music industry specific mental health service.
As the leading independent charity for musicians we are in unique position to commission this study and be able to look at the impact that working in the music industry has on people’s mental health."
This leaves to question how artists can be better provided for to maintain their mental health, and while this study focuses on the UK, it's clear to anyone keeping an eye on the music industry that touring and studio sessions can be a deadly combination when paired at such heavy levels.
While the second part of this survey is slated to come out in 2017, it leaves to question- what changes will the industry make to ensure the safety of the people dedicating their lives to it?
The full details of the study can be discovered here.