Backline Celebrates World Mental Health Day With Tom Petty Tribute, Partnership With Master Tour

Wynnona Judd led a Tom Petty tribute in support of Backline’s “Handle With Care” benefit at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bown on Oct. 10. The event reaised more than $40,000 for mental health services. (Photo courtesy of Backline)

Backline, which provides mental health and wellness resources to the music industry and family members, celebrated its second World Mental Health Day in Nashville Oct. 9-10 capped by “Handle With Care,” a Tom Petty tribute led by Wynonna Judd at Brooklyn Bowl.

The organization also took the opportunity to announce a partnership with Eventric Master Tour, which introduce a groundbreaking new feature in their popular touring software: the mental health button in Master Tour’s mobile app. 

“Handle With Care” brought together Nashville royalty with Judd, joined by Charles Kelly of Lady A, Brittney Spencer, Charles Wesley Godwin and sets of original music from Rett Madison and Lindsay Lou leading into a Tom Petty tribute set led by Derek Wells and headlined by Judd. 

Over the course of the evening, they were joined by up-and-coming artists Drake Milligan, Josiah & the Bonnevilles, Madeline Edwards, Sierra Hull, Vince Herman, Ben Chapman, Meg McRee, and Wyatt Flores.

While there was plenty of music and bowling, the night was all about amplifying the necessity of mental wellness within the music industry, and showcased Backline’s efforts to improve access to quality resources through partnership and programming. 

Backline, a 501(c)3, raised $40,000 from the Oct. 10 event, every dollar of which will go to the organization’s continued expansion. It costs Backline an average of $35 to help one individual and the funds raised during World Mental Health Day will increase the organization’s capacity to connect more people with life saving care. 

Thanks to its new partnership with Master Tour, Backline expects to significantly expand its reach. 

All Master Tour app users can now access mental health resources immediately including the crisis text line and national suicide hotline, as Backline’s key programs including case management, one-on-one support for individuals in creating a specific mental health plan; weekly virtual support groups that provide safe spaces for music industry professionals; and free wellness offerings. 

With this new partnership, Backline’s resources will reach 250,000 new users. The funds raised during World Mental Health Day are especially vital as Backline prepares to scale in 2024 to meet the anticipated influx of new clients thanks to this extraordinary new reach

The Handle with Care benefit show was the bookend for the Harmony In Practice Clinical Training Workshops for mental health providers that Backline hosted at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center during the week. The workshops were sponsored by Warner Chappell Music, and allowed practitioners who attended to receive certified continuing education credits while equipping them with invaluable skills and tools to effectively support their clients. The Clinical Training Workshops demonstrates the organization’s deepest commitment yet towards ensuring the music industry is resourced to provide care to its members. 

“Our events in Nashville really represented who we are as an organization, as they helped us to build impact and celebrate our growing community,” says Backline’s Executive Director, Hilary Gleason. “In the four years since we built Backline, we have never had a bigger week than this – where we achieved two long-standing goals: hosting the first-ever Clinical Training Workshops on working with music industry families, and announcing our massive awareness-building partnership with Master Tour. We are grateful for everyone who showed up to be a part of this moment, that helps us look to the future with more clarity, conviction and hope.”