A new helpline that supports those suffering bullying and harassment within the UK music industry has launched today.
The service is provided by independent UK charity Help Musicians, and comes further to a number of high-profile musicians such as Rebecca Ferguson and Lily Allen speaking out on the need for more to be done to support musicians experiencing difficulties.
With the majority of musicians in the UK working on a freelance basis, there is currently no support of this kind available to individuals who are experiencing problems with difficult behaviour. T
he new helpline aims to fill a gap in support provision, ensuring that those working in the music industry have a place to turn for advice and practical help.
There is broad support right across the music industry for a range of measures to deal with the issue, with influential organisations including UK Music, The Musicians’ Union (MU), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) supporting the launch of the helpline, alongside Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries MP.
The new service provides support in a number of ways, from guidance on how to raise and resolve issues to advice on rights and avenues for formal action.
The service is not only being offered to professional musicians, but to everyone working within the music industry. Callers are able to immediately speak with a specialist bullying and harassment advisor, who undertakes a risk assessment.
As a first step, the advisor will assess if an informal resolution of the situation is possible, and offer coaching on how to approach the perpetrator or organisation if suitable. If the assessment finds that a more formal approach is required, the caller will be offered information and guidance on the options available to them.
As well as helping those impacted by bullying and harassment, the new helpline aims to shed more light on the extent of the issue across the industry and inform collaborative, industry-wide efforts for a positive and permanent change to help stamp out bullying and harassment.
James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians, said, “Bullying and harassment requires a collaborative response across the music industry. The creation of the helpline is a vital next step and Help Musicians is well placed to provide this service, as an independent charity.”
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive at UK Music said, “For the vast majority, the music industry is an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment. However, this is not always the case which is why we must work together to urgently address bullying, harassment and discrimination.”
“Help Musicians’ new helpline is a hugely welcome addition to the excellent work already under way to tackle these challenges and will become an invaluable resource. The music industry must take a united approach and keep working to bring about lasting change to make sure every workplace is a truly welcoming and supportive place for everyone.”