The Back Lounge founder and Tour Production Group (TPG) facilitator, Tour Manager Suzi Green, is leading a new series of free workshops for the live music industry. Following the huge response to the Resilience Workshops in summer 2021, Green is combining the core principle areas of the TPG—Sustainability, Mental Health, and Diversity—for a three part, community focused series.
Green, whose clients include Placebo, PJ Harvey and Katie Melua, is passionate about both personal and wider industry wellbeing, having founded mental welfare digital support group The Back Lounge during the pandemic, as well as taking on a facilitator role with the TPG, a UK-based and internationally attended association of live music touring professionals.
With 2022 likely to see an upscaled return to work, she believes now is the time for meaningful education that can be applied to real world situations. “These are the topics on people’s radar,” says Green. “What exactly are we going to push ourselves through in the next 12 months? There’s no doubt for anyone working in live music that Mental Health, Sustainability and Diversity are going to be a real focus. We need to look at best practice within these areas and really start to apply it.”
In order to deliver the sessions, Green has enlisted professionals with experience in the subject matters.
The sessions are:
Roadmap To Sustainable Touring on Wednesday January 19, hosted by TPG Sustainability facilitator and tour/production manager Jamal Chalabi and tour/event manager Nathalie Candel. Following a global pandemic and COP26, many are wondering what the music industry can do towards a healthier and greener world – and music fans are expecting their favorite artists to take action. This workshop will teach the basics of sustainability on tour, from a small van tour to an arena-sized bus tour.
Better Mental Health on Tour takes place on Thursday February 17 and is hosted by Music Industry Therapy Collective (MITC) psychotherapist Jodi Milstein, LMFT, LPC, and Dr. Arun Castro MBBS MRCEM MRCGP MPH, a performing arts medicine physician.
During the pandemic many touring professionals realized that working conditions, tour demands, tour culture and lifestyle factors had contributed to poor mental health. High rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide among touring professionals tell us that a change is long-overdue. This interactive workshop will examine the factors that influence our lifestyle decisions and will address how – individually and collectively – we can improve life on tour from a mental health perspective.
The final session, to be held on Thursday March 3 is titled How to be an Ally. Production and Tour Director Keely Myers of Global Touring Office and wellness and diversity specialist Joanne Croxford—both founders of TPG Diversity and Inclusion Group—will explore how the touring industry is waking up to the benefits of a diverse workforce. They will look at the ways we can create a safe working environment for gender minorities. This helpful presentation will ensure that your ally ship is well-intentioned and supportive.
Green adds: “The pressure’s going to be on—we do have a shortage of crews. If we’re serious about wanting diversity backstage and a more inclusive environment, then it’s all about how we can welcome new people in. Is touring a hospitable environment? Often, it is not.
“Everyone knows that working in this industry is more than a job—it is our lifestyle. When you tour, it becomes one compartment. Mental ill health, addiction awareness, the environmental impact we can avoid, our unconscious bias… these topics that are really only just being spoken about in a way that helps us to make better choices as a professional community.”
She concludes: “These new sessions will help us to continue building that community. It’s a discussion, at the end of the day, and our format invites you to ask for information, it welcomes interactions all the way through and I think that is what will be valuable to people.”
Each of the three sessions will take place on Zoom at 18:00 (GMT) and are free to attend.
To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit:
Roadmap to Sustainable Touring, Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Better Mental Health on Tour, Thursday, February 17th, 2022
How to Be an Ally, Thursday, March 3rd, 2022
Further information from the Tour Production Group: www.tourproductiongroup.co.uk
Further information from Healthy Touring: https://healthy-touring.com/