skip to main content

Help Musicians Launches New Bullying and Harassment Helpline for the UK Music Industry

A new helpline that supports those suffering bullying and harassment within the UK music industry has launched today, providing support, guidance and advice through specialist advisors.

Published: 10 March 2022 | 12:40 PM
Vintage green and blue telephone against a blue background
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. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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.

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today

Continue reading

Close up of cello player in black and white.

MU Sponsors The Night With Festival

The Night With Festival takes place 14 -15 December in Glasgow. It offers an interesting programme of classical evening performances, as well as a daytime industry schedule. MU and Regional Officer Louise Stanners Pow will also be in attendance, offering 1-2-1 drop in sessions.

Published: 01 December 2023

Read more about MU Sponsors The Night With Festival
Dr Diljeet Bhachu and award winner Elizabeth J Birch smiling after coming off stage together.

Youth Music Awards 2023: Take Note That the Future is Here

Last month the MU sponsored Youth Music’s Inspirational Music Leader Award, which was presented by Dr Diljeet Bhachu, the MU’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In this blog, she reflects on the judging process and shares her thoughts on addressing inequality in the wider industry.

Published: 01 December 2023

Read more about Youth Music Awards 2023: Take Note That the Future is Here