Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Today, Sound Mind Live announces the fourth annual Sound Mind Music Festival for Mental Health, presented this year as a live, outdoor event at New York City’s famed Central Park on May 21 at 4pm. Featuring performances by Cold War Kids, Big Boi, American Authors, KAMAUU, Wrabel, and Allison Russell, the festival is hosted by comedian Gina Brillon. For the first time, the event will be livestreamed on TikTok.

This year, the Sound Mind Music Festival for Mental Health focuses on the mental health impact of COVID-19 and the support needed to address the healing process—including information on mental health resources, suicide prevention, and best practices for self-care. It also gives the festival’s performers an opportunity to share their personal stories about their mental health struggles and empower others.

With the establishment of the nationwide 988 mental health crisis number this July – the need for this festival is even greater. Improved crisis response services are urgently needed across the country, and the event hopes to catalyze the public to take action to spur legislators to improve the inadequate system in place.

Fans can enter to win a signed snare drum from Cold War Kids and a signed microphone from Big Boi if they sign a petition to improve mental health crisis response services here:

"Mental health has always been an issue that I’ve recognized,” Big Boi says. “I’m hyped to be a part of an event that bridges the gap between music and raising awareness of how we can improve support systems.”

“I have been doing therapy for five years now,” Cold War Kids says. “The work we have done has changed my life and my relationships for the better. I am so grateful to advocate for mental health with the Sound Mind Music Festival.”

Kicking off Central Park’s programming, the Sound Mind Music Festival for Mental Health is part of the city-wide push to welcome citizens back to New York City and find healing  since the pandemic. The festival’s ticket sales will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Health of New York City and its local affiliates, and ticket buyers will have the opportunity on the livestream to donate to their local NAMI affiliate. NAMI—the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S., provides free programs and services to individuals facing mental health issues.

Tickets for the May 21 event go on sale Friday, March 11th at 10am ET  priced at $40 (general admission) and $149.50 (VIP). Purchase tickets here.

“There is an urgency to address the collective trauma experienced as a result of the pandemic,” says Sound Mind Live Executive Director Chris Bullard. “In this current climate, our work to end the stigma surrounding mental health is an essential first step in a healing process that includes open dialogue, knowledge, and empathy. We hope that this year’s festival, with its amazing performers, will generate awareness and open doors to needed support.”

Leading up to the festival, Sound Mind will hold an evening of intimate performances and mental health conversations on May 19 at Prime Produce Social Impact Cooperative on W. 54th St. Event artists will perform brief, stripped-down sets and then join a panel discussion with leading mental health experts. Topics include Mental Health in Communities of Color, Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community, and Mental Health in the Music Industry. Organizations participating in the discussions include Trevor Project, MusiCares, Black Mental Health Alliance, PFLAG National, and more.

Through its partnership with Sound Mind, TikTok will share news of the festival, galvanize its community members to take action on their personal mental health, and feature the event stream on its DISCOVER homepage.

Demonstrating the pervasiveness of the pandemic’s impact on mental health, a CDC study found that 41% of individuals in the U.S. are experiencing mental health conditions associated with the impact of COVID-19, a number that rises to 54% for essential workers and up to 75% for young adults. This data indicates the need for recovery across a broad population and along the full spectrum of mental health.

The annual Sound Mind Music Festival for Mental Health amplifies the voices of artists who are speaking openly about their mental health to elevate the conversation and build a community and culture that breaks the stigma that exists today.

This year's event is made possible by the generous support of AbbVie and The Sozosei Foundation.  AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow, while Sozosei’s primary focus is to decriminalize mental illness in the United States.

Sound Mind Live brings together musicians, music lovers, and forward-thinking organizations to build community and open dialogue around mental health. Much like Farm Aid has done for food and family farmers, Sound Mind Live’s mission is to catalyze social action to end the stigma that surrounds mental health through the power of music. Sound Mind Live events create a safe space where music and an open, inclusive conversation around mental health coexist through collaboration across artists and organizations.

Festival partners include founding partner National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, as well as NAMI National, TikTok, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, JED Foundation, Sozosei Foundation, Black Mental Health Alliance, The Action Alliance, The Steve Fund, MusiCares, The Orchard, Alkermes, Sage Therapuetics, Compass Pathways, PFLAG National, Vibrant Health, Fountain House, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Join the conversation at | | | #Together4MH