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Help Musicians UK and Vice join CMU to put the spotlight on mental health in the music community at The Great Escape

By | Published on Tuesday 19 April 2016

The Great Escape

CMU Insights @ The Great Escape is putting the spotlight on mental health in the music community next month as part of the full-day conference strand ‘What has the music industry ever done for you?’, with Help Musicians UK and Vice among the organisations confirmed to take part.

Help Musicians UK CEO Richard Robinson will kickstart the proceedings by discussing the charity’s work in supporting the health and wellbeing of people in the music industry. He will then be joined by Sally Gross from the University Of Westminster to introduce new academic research into the mental health of music professionals, which will inform a wider debate between artists, managers, music execs and healthcare professionals on how the industry could better ensure the good health of its people, both on and off the stage.

Meanwhile Vice Head Of Music Alex Hoffman will present highlights of a number of original documentaries he has commissioned for Noisey as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which coincides with The Great Escape this year. The short films feature three artists – Bill Ryder-Jones, Rob Harvey and NoLay – discussing their personal experiences with mental health issues. NoLay will then join Hoffman on the TGE stage to expand on her experiences, while Ryder-Jones’ manager Ellie Giles will discuss the role of management in supporting artists when they face mental health challenges.

Confirming his organisation’s involvement in this particular CMU@TGE strand, Robinson told reporters this morning: “In a recent survey, nearly 70% of professional musicians told Help Musicians UK that they’d suffered from a psychological issue. No one in the industry should have to sacrifice good mental health in order to keep making music. HMUK take the wellbeing of the music community seriously and ask that the industry as a whole join us to tackle this issue”.

As previously reported, CMU Insights @ The Great Escape sits at the heart of the new music festival’s convention programme, and unlike most other music industry conferences focuses on just four key issues, presenting a whole day of content around each theme, with a mix of presentations, case studies, interviews and discussions. This year’s strands are looking at data and transparency; CDs and merch; YouTube and video; and diversity and health.

More information has also been announced this morning about the strand ‘CDs! Vinyl! T-shirts! Who the hell is buying this stuff?’, which is supported by the BPI. While the headlines around the latest IFPI stats pack last week were all about digital, 39% of global recorded music revenues last year – and 44% in the UK – still came from selling physical discs, and primarily CDs. But who is buying all these CDs in 2016 and why?

CMU’s Chris Cooke will review the CD and vinyl markets worldwide, tapping into recent research by both the BPI and Entertainment Retailers Association, before discussing the future of physical and the opportunities that lie in premium CD and vinyl products. Attention will then turn to merch, with Chris Carey from Media Insight Consulting presenting his company’s consumer research and outlining what it reveals about those fans that spend beyond records and tickets.

CMU Insights @ The Great Escape takes place on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May at Dukes @ Komedia in Brighton. TGE delegates get access to it all, plus everything else happening at The Great Escape this year, with passes available here.

Meanwhile check the schedules for each of the CMU strands at these links…

Transparency! Data! Blockchain! Let’s make buzzwords happen! – Thursday, Dukes 1

What if YouTube actually is the future? – Thursday, Dukes 2

CDs! Vinyl! T-shirts! Who the hell is buying this stuff? – Friday Dukes 1

What has the music industry ever done for you? – Friday Dukes 2