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Mental health in EDM: We have a lot of work to do

Mental health in the electronic music scene is an oft-discussed topic. A recent article by Billboard, Ross Gardiner argues that little progress has been made in action. The author uses the deaths of Avicii and The Prodigy’s Keith Flint as poignant examples. Gardiner cites the ongoing pressures of “unsocial hours, irregular employment … and working away from home,” among other concerns, plays a significant role.

Demanding tour schedules can also play a part. Consider the fact that Avicii performed a whopping 813 shows in eight years before retiring in 2016. However, BBC1’s own Pete Tong weighed in with his thought that “We raised awareness around the whole subject … I now know more artists and those behind-the-scenes who are striving for a healthier balance”

So, with this in mind, what are some steps that can be taken by agencies and the performers themselves? For one, balanced tour schedules and better attention to issues such as exhaustion and overwork. For some performers alcohol and other substances can take a toll. Even when not combined with the aforementioned issues this can obviously prove extremely detrimental. Agencies and artist handlers alike would do well to caution against partying too hard. As well as not turning a blind eye to harmful use.

Another thought: Consider Getter’s latest announcement of canceling the rest of the dates on his Visceral tour due to fan disapproval of his latest album. We need to do better, as a community, not to whip out the pitchforks and take to bullying an artist for going in a new direction with their work. Constructive criticism is one thing, booing a respected artist offstage and throwing things at them is another, and definitely not okay. Remember that it’s a human being up there, not just an idea or a character.

What do you think about Gardiner’s commentary? Agree or disagree, let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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