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Skiddle partners with mental health festival Headstock

The festival, centred around mental health and well being, will take place across several of Manchester's most iconic venues in 2020.

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Last updated: 6th Nov 2019

Launching in May 2020, Headstock Festival will focus on highlighting mental health issues especially common with those involved with the music industry and sectors of the night time economy. The aim is to promote good mental health, mindfulness and essential self care, focusing on prevention rather than seeking a cure. 

Atheer Al-Salim, founder of the festival explained his reasons for launching the festival, "The North West has the highest prevalence of mental health issues - such as anxiety and depression - in the country, so it felt fitting to launch Headstock here. Together I believe we can tackle this problem and what better way than through music, known for its ability to impact mood, reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing."

The week long series of music events, taking place rom the 11th to the 17th May 2020, will see grass root artists performing alongside some of the UK's most current and acclaimed names, across nine of Manchesters most beloved venues, including Gorilla, YES, Band On The Wall and the Fairfield Social Club. Embracing multiple music genres, from rock and electronic to grime, the festival has been designed to be accessible to all. The week will conclude with a multi-artist fundraising concert at Manchester’s Albert Hall.

Headstock will also offer festival-goers a programme of events, talks and immersive experiences throughout the week, covering nutrition, sleep and exercise.

The festival has been timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis’ death, which falls on Monday 18th May 2020. Tributes will be paid to the fabled singer-songwriter throughout the week.

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester spoke about the pressing issue, “Sadly, most of us either know someone who has been affected by mental health, or you may have been affected yourself. It is a fact that people involved within the Night Time Economy, Music and Culture sector are open to mental health issues, more so than other industries and sectors. Headstock absolutely shines a light on the issue and helps to create a platform for people to continue the conversations. It’s fantastic to see such thought and content put into it. I fully support everything it stands for.”

Partners for the forthcoming the festival include Help Musicians, an independent charity that aims to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians, Manchester Mind, a local, independent charity which has been supporting better mental health across the city for 30 years and yours truly, Skiddle, who will partner with Headstock as the festivals official ticket provider.  

Music makers of all ages, abilities and genres are being encouraged to get involved by organising Headstock events in their local communities to fundraise for Headstock’s charity partners. The Headstock Music Maker Fundraising Pack is available to download for free at 

Lineup for the seven day festival of events is yet to be announced. Watch this space.

Image credit: Headstock Festival

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