Following the news that luminaries Rebecca Ferguson and Lily Allen have described their experiences of harassment in the music industry, a helpline has been installed to ensure that artists have someone to call in their time of need.
The service will not be limited to professional musicians, as anyone working in the UK music industry is free to ring in and get their support when they need to. As part of the helpline services, the calls offer callers the opportunity to speak with specialist advisors immediately. From that point, formal action can be taken. The number is 0800 088 2045.
James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians, gave his viewpoint on the need to use a phone number as a means of making artists feel safe.“Bullying and harassment require a collaborative response across the music industry,” Ainscough said. “The creation of the helpline is a vital next step and Help Musicians is well placed to provide this service, as an independent charity.”
Ainscough continued in this vein, stating that people can call anonymously, and receive the advice they need to deal with a particular situation. As of the time of print, organisations including UK Music, The Musicians’ Union (MU), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have spoken in favour of the initiative.
The initiative is the first step to start change in the industry in the hope of providing more and greater context for the callers in an effort to change the face of the industry. Part of the initiative is to ensure that artists can feel safe at this particular juncture in their artistic trajectory.
In a recent study conducted by Pirate, it was decreed that female aartists are more likely to suffer from “performance anxiety” to their male counterparts. Much of it stems from the male focus on the industry, especially since they are familiar with one another. An anonymous performer said they needed a calm, stress-free space in which they could get ready. The space should include a door that closes and gives them a space to hang their clothing. Other artists felt that they needed a place to put their personal items.