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17th October 2019

New Manchester festival to tackle mental health

The fundraising event will be the UK’s biggest mental health festival, taking place in various venues across Manchester
New Manchester festival to tackle mental health

Headstock, a new festival set to tackle mental health issues, will take place in Manchester on May 2020.

The festival date coincides with the 40th anniversary of the death of Ian Curtis – the Manchester-born musician and lead singer of Joy Division who died by suicide at aged 23. Acts will perform at various venues across Manchester, including Gorilla, Band on the Wall and Soup Kitchen, and conclude with a fundraiser at the Albert Hall. 

Working in partnership with Help Musicians and Manchester Mind, the event aims to change the conversation around mental health and encourage people to take care of their minds in the same way that they take care of their physical health.

As well as a varied line-up from a multitude of genres, Headstock will offer a schedule of events, talks and immersive experiences that will promote self-care and cover nutrition, sleep, exercise, and mindfulness. Concentrating on prevention rather than cure, the aim of the festival is to raise awareness of the warning signs of mental health problems and urge people to address them before they get worse. 

Atheer Al-Salim, founder of Headstock said: “The North West has the highest prevalence of mental health issues – such as anxiety and depression – in the country, so it felt fitting to launch Headstock here. Together I believe we can tackle this problem and what better way than through music, known for its ability to impact mood, reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.

“With Headstock we want to empower people to take stock of their mental health and get ahead of potential problems, reducing the need for medical support. Through music and shared experience, Headstock connects people to ideas and initiatives that help them take control – so they can spot the warning signs and head-off problems before they take over.”

Headstock’s line-up is set to be announced in 2020. The festival will take place from 11th-17th of May.


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