Sunday, December 4

Musicians burned, tours canceled: “It’s exhausting to pretend that I’m happy for the good of the industry”


Singers like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Santigold have not been able to withstand the pace and pressure, so they have had to modify or end their tours earlier

Justin Bieber in London, February 2020Carsten WindhorstFile, Archive

Many fans remember, with regret, the cancellation of the tour of Shawn Mendez two months ago or the post in which Justin Bieber announced -three weeks ago- that some shows he was not going to be able to do them because he needed to prioritize his health. In recent days, the list of singers who are unable to complete their tours has continued to increase: the American santigold and british artists Sam Fender Y Arlo Parks They have announced through Instagram that they simply do not give more. They are exhausted. The demands of maintaining a professional music career can be ruthless and They have decided to prioritize their physical and mental health.

In an extensive statement shared this Monday, Santigold thanks his fans for their loyalty and apologizes for canceling his upcoming concerts. “I think that no one saw this ‘new normal’ that awaited us coming. After these last years of pandemic -without being able to do shows and generating little income we hurried back to the stage as soon as possible“explains the interpreter of Nonsense Youth.

In this post-confinement context, the artists were faced with other problems: gasoline inflation (and therefore, the rise in the price of tour buses) and the increase in the cost of hotels and flights. In addition, the threat of positive PCRs -and the consequent delay in scheduled actions- implies having to constantly changing dates, which is increasingly difficult in a saturated market tours and festivals.

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“To all these problems we must add mental, spiritual, physical and emotional exhaustionwhich was already affected by the pandemic,” reflects Santigold.

The singer Santigold in concert, 2015
The singer Santigold in concert, 2015Barry BrecheisenAP

Other artists have also emphasized the mental exhaustion involved in traveling from city to city, sometimes for months, without a single day off. Shawn Mendes announced that he was canceling his tour of North America and Europe after consulting with specialists and concluding that he needed to take some time to “focus on himself.”

Likewise, Sam Fender reported two weeks ago that his tour was not going to continue: “I find it totally hypocritical to defend the mental health debate and write songs about it, If I don’t take the necessary time to take care of my own mental health.” Along with his apologies, the singer indie explained why he has decided to cancel his three remaining concerts, his appearances with Florence and The Machine and his participation in the Life is Beautiful festival: “I have neglected myself for more than a year and have not dealt with things that have affected me deeply. . It’s exhausting to pretend I’m happy for the good of the industry“.

Although the life of the music star seems to be very glamorous, the reality is that it is much harder than it seems in most cases. Singer-songwriter Arlo Parks has also canceled several dates on her tour of the United States, between September 14 and 24. She explains that this ten-day “rest” is due to the tremendous effort involved in being on tour: “”I’ve been touring on and off for the last 18 months, filling every free second I had and working non-stop.. She was exciting and she was eager to show the world what I am capable of. People around me started to worry, but I was anxious to deliver and afraid of disappointing my fans and myself. I put insane pressure on myself. Now I find myself in a very dark place, exhausted and dangerously depressed“.

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The great offer of concerts after the pandemic, the constant travel, the lack of rest and the pressure not to disappoint the public has brought many artists to the brink of collapse. The frenetic pace that the industry demands of them has negative consequences for both artists and changes are urgently needed.

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