Welcome to The Back Lounge

if you’ve ever gone from A to B on a tourbus, you’ll know the back lounge is often the social centre on the road.

Help yourself to a beer or make a brew (Yorkshire Tea is our preferred), sit yourself down and join in the conversation, or just sit and listen. We really don’t mind, as long as you’re respectful and courteous to the other members.

The Back Lounge started in June 2020, when, feeling isolated during lockdown and missing my ‘touring family’, I started attending the online COVID ‘Come Together’ support group hosted by Backline in North America. Realising how massively beneficial it was to my well-being, I put a tentative post on Facebook, asking if anyone would be interested in a similar, European-based group and received 50 replies within 24 hours.

Our online community is now in four figures, with regular attendees encompassing pretty much every role on tour from UK, Europe, North America and Canada, and the occasional insomniac Australian. The group has received really positive international press coverage and within its first six months, was longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s mental health All In The Mind Awards 2021.

What The Back Lounge Is

The Back Lounge community primarily encompasses music touring crew and artists, but is open to anyone working in the wider events industry including management, booking agents, venue staff, security and so on. It’s a peer support group with the aim of pooling resources and supporting each other in maintaining good physical and mental health within what sometimes feels like a crazy industry.

On our regular zoom meets, you can take part with your camera on or off, and either speak or listen – it’s up to you. All we ask is that you mute yourself when you’re not talking, treat everyone in the group with respect and give them space to say their piece. Everyone is given time to contribute to the discussion, as long or as little as you like.

We often have specialist guests speaking on subjects regarding physical and mental health, followed by a members’ discussion; we add our views, share experiences, argue (without anger), offer support, vent our feelings, occasionally cry – but we also laugh (a lot!) Back Lounge is a safe space and anything members share should always be treated as confidential. Sessions are not recorded, for the same reason.

There is no formal membership as such; you just have to have an ongoing association with the touring industry, and you can come and go as you please, depending on your inclination and demands of work. And there will never be a charge to ‘belong’; you belong just by showing up.

So feel free to join us. Just send me a message on the link or via our socials and I’ll add you to the group.

Our community looks to support each other especially when times are hard. We’ve all been on those ‘difficult’ tours or ones where, inexplicably, you just don’t fit in. Or the tours when Jack Daniel’s by the half-pint is de rigueur and you’d secretly prefer Ovaltine and an early night ;-). Here at the Back Lounge, we’ve got your back, whatever your personal choice.

We look forward to you joining our community

What The Back Lounge Isn’t

1. A Medical Service

The group is happy to support you if you’re having general mental health issues, but none of us are clinicians or are qualified to offer one-on-one counselling. If you’re in crisis or have a medical problem, please contact one of the outside services listed in Resources, who can give you the immediate specialist help you need.

2. A Job Centre

We’re always happy to offer advice and support to newbies in the touring industry, but please don’t ask us for specific job opportunities. That’s not what we’re here for.

3. A Ticket Agency

Freebies or backstage passes? Don’t even go there…

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We have regular meetings every Wednesday evening at 6pm UK time and you can connect with us here

And you can sign up for our weekly mail out with meeting info here

The BACK LOUNGE TV

This is a do anywhere tour friendly ‘bit sweaty’ HIIT with James Cash, tour acclimatised and roadie friendly personal trainer, including most recently for Sam Smith.

If we could get through this class, you can. Various Back Lounger red faces have been edited out to protect the innocent. You can find James Cash here at his regular home

Craig ran a workshop for us on ‘Mindfulness for touring’. If sitting still is hard and gentle movement is more your thing, set yourself up for the day or change your mood with this ‘do anywhere’ 11 minute Qi Gong. 

TIME OUT

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Yoga Nidra with Becky Pell (26mins)

Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation, perfect for a disco nap or to drift off to sleep in your bunk. Who wouldn’t want to be a constellation of stars… Becky is a touring audio engineer, yoga teacher and author. You can find her here rocknrollyogi.com

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Craig Ali’s 3 minute breathing space

Do anywhere, great for when you’re in the thick of it…and you don’t even need to close your eyes so no one need know a thing 😉

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Craig Ali’s ‘Settling the Mind’

Keep this download on your phone for when you want to start the day in the right way, when your day needs a reset or when the plane is coming in to land and you’ll be the ground running. 10 minutes is all it takes.

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Dr Niamh Flynn’s ‘Sleep Well’

One for your bunk! Dr Niamh is a sports psychologist and hypnotherapist. This 9 minute recording will have you snoring happily like any good roadie should.

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Craig Ali’s ‘Settling the Mind’

Keep this download on your phone for when you want to start the day in the right way, when your day needs a reset or when the plane is coming in to land and you’ll be the ground running. 10 minutes is all it takes.

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Craig Ali’s ‘Settling the Mind’

Keep this download on your phone for when you want to start the day in the right way, when your day needs a reset or when the plane is coming in to land and you’ll be the ground running. 10 minutes is all it takes.

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A starters guide to health and wellness w Matt Kansy

One page of the best advice from former roadie & now wellness & nutrition coach

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Craig Ali’s ‘Settling the Mind’

Keep this download on your phone for when you want to start the day in the right way, when your day needs a reset or when the plane is coming in to land and you’ll be the ground running. 10 minutes is all it takes.