Leading rock event, Download Festival, has announced that a full mindfulness programme will be implemented in 2019 for the first time. Announced ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week next month, the Mind The Dog initiative will run morning, afternoon, and evening sessions where rockers can share a fully immersive, live music and mindfulness experience, from Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 June.
One in six people in England report experiencing common mental health issues including anxiety and depression in any given week and by 2030, it’s estimated that two million more adults in the UK will experience mental health problems than there were in 2013. The recent loss of music legends including Keith Flint (Prodigy), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), and Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit), calls for action to open up the conversation surrounding mental health, something Download organisers are committed to.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn said: "Download Festival has gone from strength to strength in its sustainability and accessibility offerings. We have been awarded 4 star Creative Green Result by Julie’s Bicycle for the second year running, and level gold from Access Is For Everything last year, which is highest possible award for accessibility, so it only made sense to offer an on site programme for mental health, as well as physical. By introducing Mind The Dog this year, we are hoping to provide a mindfulness haven in The Doghouse across the weekend, with meditation, sound baths, and more. I couldn’t be prouder of how much Download Festival has accomplished already.”
Fans can channel their zen under ambient lighting and atop woven tapestries, before immersing themselves in hour long classes under the roof of The Doghouse which will transform into Mind The Dog by day, offering FREE mindfulness gatherings. Morning meditation will host curated live music sessions, designed to ready campers for the day, whilst the afternoon offers a healing sound bath, encouraging fans to pause, connect, and tune into themselves, and the evening class brings a calming focus to elevate fans state of consciousness. Designed with conscious breath work sessions, the programme aims to bring fans together in the now, becoming closer to themselves, the music, and each other.
Recent studies show music can prevent feelings of loneliness and provide social connection, whilst the global heavy metal community provides a strong sense of “belonging and acceptance”. In line with the success and return of on-site DO.OM Yoga (yoga to Doom Metal music), and the thriving return of Camp Loner, (the campsite dedicated to welcoming individuals attending the festival solo), organisers are now excited to bring their elevated mindful offerings for Download fans in synergy with the festival spirit.
In support of the programme, Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari, who headline The Avalanche Stage at this year’s festival said: "We often go through life on autopilot, getting caught up in the stressors, the anxieties, the intensity of it all. We’re rarely consciously in control of our turbulent mind. Mindfulness allows us to regain control as we learn to observe our thoughts instead of getting caught up in them.
It has been an incredible help to me and I couldn’t recommend it more. Not only does it help with anxiety and depression, but it also improves focus, emotional intelligence, compassion, tolerance and objectivity and has even been proven to help boost your immune system. Big up Download for introducing this programme to the festival."