11 times dance music broke our heart in 2016 - - Mixmag

11 times dance music broke our heart in 2016

It was a turbulent year for our culture

  • Words: Mixmag crew | Illustration: Eliot Wyatt
  • 20 December 2016
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7 When Bloc's co-founder mugged us all off

The team behind Bloc have made a habit of shooting themselves in the foot. After hitting the perfect festival formula with a five-year run of sold-out holiday park weekenders, the decision was taken to move to the London Pleasure Gardens for the disastrous 2012 event that was promptly shut down on its opening night after chaotic organisational issues. And then once they’d picked up the pieces and returned, throwing a final weird, wonderful bash in Butlins this March, co-founder George Hull cut through the warm festival afterglow with his razor sharp words slagging off all the attendees in The Spectator, taking issue with things like a perceived lack of hedonism among the youth and volunteers providing free labour requesting vegan meals. It shocked me so much I nearly spat out my organic chamomile green tea infusion. Patrick Hinton, Digital Staff Writer

8 Artists quitting music due to mental health

In an industry that characteristically demands constant travel, lack of sleep, immense highs and lows and long periods of isolation, touring DJs are systematically set up to develop destructive mental illnesses with no resources or aid to help them.

Although 2016 led to conversation and increased open mindedness on the issue, it also brought to light the unspeakable fragility and deteriorating mental health spanning across the dance music world. Previously, Benga was one of the first artists to speak transparently on the matter, candidly admitting that schizophrenia was brought on by excessive touring and his bipolar disorder was a result of drug use.

This year, Ben Pearce revealed that the exhausting demands of electronic music exacerbated his depression to a point where, despite professional help, he was forced to cancel all upcoming shows. Sasha, on the cusp of a new tour with John Digweed, disclosed accounts of terrifying battles with anxiety throughout his early career, where the holy grail of playing music would tragically become his worst enemy. Then there was Erick Morillo, who after years of silence spoke on his crushing ketamine addiction.

Organizations such as Help Musicians UK fight the taboo of mental health, and although a clear step in the right direction, studies have shown that 65 per cent of artists have reported suffering from these conditions, but the majority are still hiding in the dark. Sydney Jow, US Digital Content Editor

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