Details have been announced for the fifth annual Sound Mind Music Festival For Mental Health and for the first time ever the New York event is being presented as a free, all-day street fest. The May 20th shindig takes place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, between Irving Avenue and Wyckoff Avenue with performances from Iron & Wine, Hiss Golden Messenger, Langhorne Slim, Kamauu and Pom Pom Squad.
“Mental health is such a significant part of our well-being and the advocacy work Sound Mind Live does by creating dialogue and community through music is often an important first step to those in need,” Iron & Wine said in a statement. “I’m really happy to be involved and looking forward to taking part in this year’s event.”
Altogether the event is partnering with three local venues, more than 10 music artists and over 20 mental health organizations.
The festival begins at 12 p.m. and features DJ sets in partnership with House Of Yes, along with mental health programming experiences including yoga, mindfulness and breathwork sessions, creative activities and more. Dance parties will take place between main stage performances, ensuring fans don’t have to choose between who to see. New York’s Smorgasburg will provide food and drinks during the event.
Sound Mind Music Festival For Mental Health was founded in 2019 by nonprofit organization Sound Mind Live in partnership with nonprofit NAMI-NYC, the New York City Metro affiliate of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Sound Mind Live brings together musicians, music lovers and forward-thinking organizations with a mission “to end the stigma that surrounds mental health through the power of music.”
“We’re so proud to partner with Sound Mind on this amazing festival,” Anya Sapozhnikova, co-founder of House of Yes, said in a statement. “Mental health has long been at the top of causes that House of Yes supports, and this gives us a wonderful opportunity to foster community and action around mental health in partnership with a united coalition of artists and organizations.”
The festival is hosting a series of panels on mental health, in partnership with Absurd Conclave, including Mental Health in Communities of Color, Mental Health in the Music Industry, The Importance Of Fostering Community and more.
Online therapy platform BetterHelp is also partnering with Sound Mind Live to provide a free month of therapy for their established communities in honor of the festival.
“Over the past several years the world recognized that mental health issues impact us all in one form or another,” Chris Bullard, executive director of Sound Mind, said in a statement. “We’re proud to open up this year’s festival for free for the first time ever — enabling artists, organizations, and the whole community to join and advocate for a healthier future built on compassion, empathy and support. Together we demand that social and cultural systems support the mental health of all equally with human-centered solutions now, and we celebrate the beauty and joy that is created when we unite to support one another — particularly through music and the arts.”
The event will also be livestreamed on YouTube Health.
Fans can reserve free tickets via www.soundmindlive.org, with the option to make a donation. Those who donate $150 or more (plus a $12.57 fee) will get to enjoy a VIP experience with access to an exclusive viewing area and private cash bar, along with securing a merch bundle. All proceeds support community mental health programs of National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City.