It's no secret that the lives of musical artists often come riddled with mental health struggles, born from the multiplicity of stressors that come from the life of a touring public figure under constant scrutiny. But what about the experiences of those who work behind the scenes, such as managers, publicists, bookers and touring teams?
Out January 14th, Stay Sound & Check Yourself is a new book by Holger Jan Schmidt, an insider who heads the sustainability-focused GreenEvents Europe, and psychologist Prof. Dr. Katja Ehrenberg. Shining a long overdue light on the mental health crisis of the European music industry's essential employees through extensive interviews and background research, the project is wide-ranging and comprehensive, featuring 15 subjects who vary in age, gender, region and position expertise.
“For every Avicii or Keith Flint, there are a thousand promoters or cable guys who have a similar problem," one interviewee said. "The passion and the burnout go hand in hand,” another added.
These testaments, recorded both pre-pandemic and in June of 2020, tell a complete story of the depression and anxiety nearly all of them have faced, especially with COVID-19's added hurdles. Their experiences are interwoven with suggestions for prevention and intervention, providing guidelines for self care, prepping industry hopefuls for the realities of the job, and underscoring opportunities for productive change.
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Stay Sound & Check Yourself is currently available for preorder from European book stores, which are sorted by country here. 100% of the authors' proceeds designated for mental health visibility, prevention and intervention projects.