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Mental health of industry pros exposed in new book

Mental health behind the scenes of the live music, festival and event industry has been documented in a new book titled, Stay Sound & Check Yourself.

The book derives from a series of interviews conducted by business insider Holger Jan Schmidt and psychologist Prof. Dr Katja Ehrenberg, exploring the psychological effects of working in ‘an industry that never sleeps’.

The book assembles 15 interviewees that represent the diversity of the European live music industry  – from a 23-year-old Belgian-born PR to a 60-year-old scene veteran from Switzerland – to find out how working in an industry that has such demanding yet fulfilling working conditions impacts their mental health.

Both the individual interviews and the group discussions found that all the professionals share similar experiences of what they find deeply rewarding and what they find stressful in their work. Almost all of them know mental crises, depression or anxieties.

“For every Avicii or Keith Flint, there are a thousand promoters or cable guys who have a similar problem”

As one interviewee put it: “For every Avicii or Keith Flint, there are a thousand promoters or cable guys who have a similar problem.” And another said: “The passion and the burnout go hand in hand.”

Featuring interviews conducted pre-pandemic and mid-pandemic, the book also reports on the unprecedented challenges that have arisen in the past year and gives interviewees the opportunity to reflect on risks and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

The interviews are framed by professional background information on stress and mental health at work and effective suggestions for prevention and intervention, as well as links to further free resources on the issue.

Schmidt and Ehrenberg will mark the release of the publication at Dutch conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) on 14 January alongside Chris Kemp (Momconsultancy), Fruzina Szep (Goodlive) and Lina Urginovska (Password Productions).

Stay Sound & Check Yourself can be ordered from local book shops around Europe and online retailers. All author profits from book sales will be reinvested to projects promoting the visibility of the mental health issue and building prevention and intervention tools.


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