The live music industry is in big trouble. Here’s why

[This was my column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

Shawn Mendes fans were disappointed this past summer when the singer announced that he was cancelling some shows to focus on his mental health for the second time in 18 months. He broke the news via Instagram.

“I’ve been touring since I was 15 and to be honest it’s always been difficult to be on the road away from friends and family. After a few years off the road, I felt like I was ready to dive back in, but that decision was premature and unfortunately, the toll of the road and the pressure has caught up to me and I’ve hit a breaking point. After speaking with my team and health professionals, I need to take some time to heal and take care of myself and my mental health, first and foremost.”

Mendes wasn’t the only one. Justin Bieber, Santigold, Lindsey Buckingham, Sam Fender, Wet Leg, Lady A, Disclosure, and Arlo Parks have also cancelled tours, all citing burnout and mental health issues.

A British band called Yard Act was at Stansted Airport waiting to leave on a European tour when singer James Smith decided he just couldn’t carry on. When he voiced concerns, he found out that the rest of the group along with their crew felt the same. So they went home.

There are more, too. What’s going on? Plenty, as it turns out.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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