– Suzi Green
Tour manager and founder of The Back Lounge
The UK’s Tour Production Group (TPG) and tour manager Suzi Green are launching a series of three free workshops for people working in live, following the huge response to last year’s resilience workshops.
Green, whose clients include Placebo, PJ Harvey and Katie Melua, is passionate about both personal and wider industry wellbeing, which is why she founded the mental welfare digital support group The Back Lounge during the pandemic.
As a member of the Tour Production Group, Green is also looking at how to make touring a friendlier, more inclusive place. The Mental Health Charter for Touring is downloadable from the Groups’ website.
Maintaining one’s own mental and physical health will be particularly important in what is likely to be an upscaled return to work in 2022. “Now is the time for meaningful education that can be applied to real world situations,” Green believes, which is why she is combining three core principle areas of TPG – Sustainability, Mental Health and Diversity – for a three part, community focussed series.
“These are the topics on people’s radar,” said 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.”
– “What exactly are we going to push ourselves through in the next 12 months?”
Amongst other things, Suzi Green’s new seminars aim at making sure no one pushes themselves too hard.
The sessions, which will all take place via Zoom at 6 p.m. GMT and are free to attend, are:
Roadmap To Sustainable Touring, Jan.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 favourite 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,” the description reads.
Better Mental Health on Tour, Feb. 17, 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.”
How to be an Ally, March 3, hosted by 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.
The session “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 minorities. This helpful presentation will ensure that your allyship is well-intentioned and supportive.”
Green said, “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.
“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.”
– Concert Halls have been mostly empty for a long time.
As things begin to open back up, it’s the perfect time to think about how the restart can take place in a sustainable way.