Health issues for artist live appearances

As I type, I noticed that Bruce Springsteen as halted his current tour again due to health issues. Covid 19 highlighted how a pandemic can disrupt live performances both from an artist and audience perspective. Bruce is of course known for playing long sets, so at 70+ in age, he really needs to look after his health.

Many audiences are still wary of going to live events and more than ever its important that artists take care of themselves. I have massive respect for anyone wanting to earn a living from the arts and maintaining good health is really important, especially post covid 19.

Common sense that ain’t so common?

I recently saw a social media post about an artist that claimed they were in extreme physical pain, BUT would continue to play live regardless! This is of course really daft for the a number of reasons. Firstly, nobody who is genuinely in “extreme pain” will be able to be at their best playing live and the quality of entertainment will be affected. Secondly, the fans who are complicit in such daftness, are not doing the artist any favours, as ignoring genuine health issues is really unwise…

Many artists are now still playing live at a much older age and so need to take care of themselves, if they don’t want to experience major problems. I was amazed that during covid some artists refused to take the whole issue of covid 19 seriously and worse still advised their fans to ignore basic common sense medical advice.

Mental health issues on the rise

As well as the physical demands of touring, there are still increasing mental health issues with artists.

Music Minds Matter (MMM), the music industry mental health service run in conjunction with Help Musicians, has noted a marked increase in uptake. “After a protracted period of relative inactivity there have been heightened numbers of people coming to us about stress, anxiety and performance-related anxiety,” says Joe Hastings of Help Musicians. MMM is able to direct those in need to a range of services, including a 24/7 hotline, therapy, online resources and peer-support sessions.

Observations from a major international artist

When I interviewed Jim Glennie founder of James, he made the following observation