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“How could Avicii, one of the most talented and successful artists of his generation, go from making music in his bedroom in 2008 to taking his own life in a hotel room in 2018?”

Pete Tong‘s speech at the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza last month was one that set so many minds racing. Avicii’s suicide hit so many around the worldwide deep in the soul, but what steps can be taken to avoid such a repeat? A few of the biggest names in the industry have now voiced their views on what we can do to prevent future artists suffering the same fate as Avicii.

“In my 40 years of being around this world,” Tong continued..

“I can’t think of a single person who has achieved success who hasn’t paid a personal price via health, relationships, divorce, broken homes, addiction, depression, and anxiety.”

“There’s a sea change at the moment, and it’s gathering momentum in a very positive way,” explains Tristan Hunt, regional manager for the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) and co-chair of the organization’s Protect Mental & Physical Health for Fans & Professionals working group. “We’ve had the widespread conversations, and now those conversations are turning into action.”

Since forming in 2013, the AFEM has played a key role in shaping the conversation on this issue from within the industry. As an “HR department of sorts for electronic music,” CEO Mark Lawrence explains, the organization focuses on “creating a platform for discussion and action by bringing solution providers to a problem.”

With meetings and panels at conferences like IMS, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), and Brighton Music Conference (BMC), the AFEM maintains an active global presence, and it has designed its mental health initiative with guidance from British charity Help Musicians UK. Still, AFEM CEO Mark Lawrence added that Avicii’s death created a renewed sense of urgency.



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