By Kristen Hawley | 25 July, 2022
As the world returns to pre-pandemic times, artists and fans are excited and ready to get back to live shows. Numerous artists are picking up where 2020 left them by starting their rescheduled tours. Conversely, some artists released music during the pandemic so they are starting fresh with brand new tour dates. While many artists are over the moon to be back on stage, it must have a sort of “first day back to school” feeling that leaves them nervous and shaken.
For example, Shawn Mendes announced his “Wonder” world tour and flooded social media with behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of him rehearsing and anticipating being back to performing in front of fans. This social media presence continued as Shawn progressed a couple of shows into his first tour since 2019. Then fans received some devastating news that Shawn was postponing the next three weeks of the US leg of his tour to focus on mental health. (See his announcement on IG below)
While fans are surely devastated they won’t be able to see Shawn as soon as they wanted, this brings up an important conversation. People are so desensitized to artists’ personal lives and struggles since they are in the limelight that we stop viewing them as humans and more like larger than life figments. The pandemic took a major toll on everyone’s mental health and especially artists who were still working to help entertain us in a time when the world stopped. They were working to writing new music, creating content, releasing albums, and performing TV specials as well as one off concert events all during an extremely unpredictable and draining time.
Shawn specifically has been vocal about struggling with anxiety and mental health throughout his career and even opened up to fans about taking medicine to relax his heart so he could be calm enough to perform. During the pandemic he was working on new music and released the album, “Wonder” in 2020. Dealing with anxiety, working through an exhausting and scary time, and dealing with a life that is constantly speculated on adds up. While he seemed over the moon to be back on tour, as he stated in his post, because he had a few years off the road and was ready to dive back in. But, it may have been too much too soon.
This is an important moment for the media and fans to take a step back and recognize that there is a lot going on in someone’s life and mind that we are not aware of. Fans must recognize that mental health is just as critical as physical health and while an artist can cancel for a broken leg, another artist has every right to cancel for being extremely anxious and depressed.