Dub Pistol’s frontman Barry Ashworth is gearing up for a wing walk later this month to raise money for Tonic Rider, a mental health programme for people working in the music industry.
It’s a cause close to his heart after losing friends and fellow artists to suicide.
The Flying Circus Fundraiser will see over 40 musicians including Bez (Happy Mondays), Sian Evans (Kosheen), Nick Reynolds (Alabama 3), Derran Brownson (EMF) and Jim Ashworth-Beaumont, a Scottish prosthetics doctor who lost his arm in a London road accident in 2020.
Earlier this year Ashworth told trade magazine Music Week: “I’m honoured to launch my Flying Circus Fundraiser this year of all years, because I know the difference it makes to vulnerable people in music, like me, who need help and support to recover as we come out of lockdown.
“I’ve experienced the darker side of the music industry – addiction, depression, anxiety, and exhaustion, so if my fundraising for Tonic Rider with our wing walk for mental health can help save just one life, it will have been worth every second I have invested. We need to hit our £80k target, so please give what you can today to ensure the music community get the mental health support they so need and help create lasting change for the industry.”
Bez, who will also be taking to the skies, said: “Everyone going through life suffers highs and lows, and when you’re at one of those low points, it’s good to know that there’s a bit of support out there for you.
“The most important thing is not being afraid to speak out and talk, because when you share your problems, it always lightens the load.”
In a new article published on Music Week today Ashworth discusses how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected musicians and their mental health.
‘Suicide is another massive problem in our industry, certainly after Keith Flint’s passing and during Covid. It has been the isolation and not knowing what the future really holds. It really hit home to me that if I can be affected, then many people can be affected badly too,’ explained the Dub Pistols frontman.
‘I started working at clubs in my early twenties, putting on various different nights. It was stressful - one day you have loads of money and all it takes is one bad night and you’ve lost everything. There was drink, drugs and late nights. The anxiety, paranoia and the comedown puts you in a head space of negativity and leaves you really vulnerable.’
Barry’s Flying Circus takes place on September 28-29 at Aerosuperbatics in Cirencester and you can donate here.
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