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OneFest announces unique mental health discussion

OneFest announces unique mental health discussion:
'Mental health in Music Vs Horse racing – Let's keep the conversation going'

"I am interested to explore the model used in the racing world and see how that might fit in to the music industry to give people working in it a safety net to fall into when they need it." Grant Hutchison


Award-winning festival and non-profit talent development organisation OneFest, and key leader of the British jazz vanguard, Shabaka Hutchings, have announced a unique panel discussion will take place at EartH, during the daytime programme of the London leg of the 'Twin city festival' on 14th March 2020. 

With the panel, titled 'Mental health in Music Vs Horse racing – Let's keep the conversation going', OneFest aims to look at what we can learn from the two industries that never usually intersect. 

The session will be chaired by chaired by journalist and author John Robb, who will lead a lively discussion with panellists SK Shlomo (Artist), Jack Williamson (Music & You), Michael Caulfield (Racing Psychologist), Chris McCourt (Warner Records), Joe Hastings (Help Musicians), OneFest's own Shabaka Hutchings and Sandra Bhatia, plus a Jockey and more TBA.

The former winner of AIM 'Best Independent Festival', and one of the original, pioneering 'social conscience' festivals, OneFest follows the hugely acclaimed 'Lost Evenings with Frank Turner' in 2017 at London's Roundhouse with a unique 'twin festival' day and night concept for 2020. 

Taking place in Sheffield's Leadmill on 7th March and London's EartH on 14th March, OneFest sees Mercury Prize nominee Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) carefully curate an ambitious line-up with OneFest masterminds and co-founders Sandra Bhatia and Stephen Budd.

The discussion will take a look at the parallels and pressures from the music and racing industries and what insights and learnings can be taken from the horse racing industry, which is much older than the music industry and has developed a watertight support system to support the mental health of its talent. 

OneFest panellist and artist SK Shlomo said "Mental health affects everyone, but as performing artists we're especially at risk. I've had my share of rough times and feel lucky to have survived. Talking more and training young performers in the practise of self care is vital so we can prevent these problems from growing in the first place, and stop the loss of yet more of our creative friends like Keith Flint, Avicii and so many more."

OneFest panellist and racing psychologist Michael Caulfield said "What do sport and music have in common? The answer is everything, as they both involve performance, travel, practice, being judged, success, failure, triumph, humiliation, joy, heartbreak, hope, despair, but they are both absolutely beautiful.  More often, the performers wear a mask, as both disciplines demand the performers often to be faultless, which is impossible.  I am really looking forward to racing and music meeting head on at OneFest."

OneFest advocate Johnny Marr said "Mental health is a long overdue priority in our society. Initiatives by organisations such as OneFest are setting an agenda to bring the issue out in the open and create a new attitude so we can all help each other and be helped. It's one of the positive things about the modern world; that we can all try to create a mentally healthy and happy life."

OneFest advocate Grant Hutchison added "It's vital that the conversation around mental health in music continues and that real initiatives are adopted to bring change to the way the industry currently reacts to these issues. The life of a touring musician is one that can cause a lot of problems both physically and mentally and the duty of care is not defined enough to give musicians the knowledge that they have somewhere to turn when times are hard. As most people will know the career span of someone in a band can be short, intense and can reach great heights but that also means that the fall back to earth can be a difficult one and can lead to problems when trying to get some sort of normality or routine back. I have experienced the highs and lows and witnessed the struggle of these emotions first hand and I can say with authority there is a real lack of support and help out there for musicians and people in the industry who suffer with poor mental health. I am interested to explore the model used in the racing world and see how that might fit in to the music industry to give people working in it a safety net to fall into when they need it."

Each OneFest venue in London and Sheffield will host a daytime programme of talks and workshops, chaired by journalist and author John Robb and musicians and industry insiders such as Ahnansé(Steam Down), SK Shlomo, Joe Hastings (Help Musicians), Ross Gautreau (Fairwood Music), Chris McCourt (Warner Music), Michael Caulfield, Bang Bang Romeo, Orphy Robinson, TejuAdeleye (BBC, NTS) and Skinny Pelembe, aimed at educating aspiring young music industry professionals across the North-South divide, partnered by Ivors Academy

Each OneFest venue will also host an inspired evening programme of music featuring showcases from emerging talent and special one-off collaborations curated by Shabaka Hutchings, with members of the cohort and the best emerging and established British talent including Steve Williamson, Leafcutter John and StringTing (Tomorrow's Warriors), Nat Birchall and Okumu, Herbert, Skinner Trio with Byron Wallen.

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