Life as a Musician: Five Dangers to be Aware of on the Road
Being a musician on the road can be a lifelong dream for so many people. Alongside being a footballer or a Hollywood movie star, it’s what so many children have hopes of being.
Getting there is a remarkable achievement on any level, playing to people who either love your work, or are about to. But it can come with its dangers too, and more and more musicians are speaking out about life on the road, and taking a break from it. Just as Lewis Capaldi recently did.
But what are the main dangers of life on the road as a musician to be aware of?
Physical and Mental Exhaustion
Touring often involves long hours of travel, late-night performances, and demanding schedules that can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. The constant pressure to deliver captivating shows while dealing with limited sleep and irregular eating patterns can take a toll on musicians' well-being. It's essential to prioritise self-care, get enough rest, and establish routines that support both physical and mental health.
Substance Misuse and Dependence
The music industry has a history of glamourising substance use, with alcohol and drugs often present at parties and gatherings. However, turning to these substances as coping mechanisms or for recreational purposes can quickly spiral into misuse and addiction. Musicians should be aware of the risks associated with alcohol and drug use, as well as the potential impact on their creative output and personal lives.
So many musicians have suffered from addiction as a result of being on the road, with many high profile losses of life too. Don’t allow that to happen to you, there are many private alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres out there that can help you get your life back on track and aid you towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Isolation and Loneliness
Despite being surrounded by fans and colleagues, life on the road can sometimes feel isolating. Constantly changing environments, long periods away from loved ones, and the pressure to maintain a certain image can contribute to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. Building a support network, staying connected with friends and family, and seeking professional help if needed are important steps in combating the isolation that can arise from the musician's lifestyle.
The music industry can be unpredictable, with income often varying based on tour attendance, album sales, and streaming royalties. Financial instability is a real danger, especially for emerging artists. It's crucial to manage finances wisely, save for the future, and consider alternative revenue streams, such as merchandise sales and song placements in commercials or movies.
Mental Health Challenges
The pressures of performance, public scrutiny, and the competitive nature of the industry can contribute to mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and burnout. Musicians should prioritise their mental well-being by seeking professional help when needed, practising stress-relief techniques, and surrounding themselves with a supportive team and community.