The new helpline service is provided by independent UK charity Help Musicians, and comes further to a number of high-profile musicians such as Rebecca Ferguson speaking out on the need for more to be done to support musicians experiencing difficulties.
With the majority of musicians in the U.K working on a freelance basis, there is currently no support of this kind available to individuals who are experiencing problems with difficult behaviour. The 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.
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 counsellor, 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.
Help Musicians will ensure full anonymity for all callers and the service will work alongside The MU’s SafeSpace service, which remains open, and the ISM-MU Code of Conduct. Anyone within the UK music industry experiencing bullying and harassment can call the helpline on 0800 088 2045.