Music festival stopped to talk about youth suicide prevention

Popular east Auckland music festival Freqs Out East was put on hold for a couple minutes during the event so that $1000 could be handed over to Lifeline. Photo supplied.

It’s not often a music festival cuts the music midway through.

But when Freqs Out East founder Dan Hesson paused the music festival recently, it was for a very good cause.

The popular music festival was put on hold for a couple minutes so that Hesson could talk about mental illness and youth suicide.

“I’ve been affected by suicide and depression as many of us have in New Zealand,” he says.

“For a long time I’ve wanted to in a little way help people find a way out of dark times, to just open up and talk about how they are feeling.”

He said his business Freq Music and Freqs Out East at Fisher House in Highbrook was the perfect platform to spread a message of support to people struggling with mental illness and show support for charities that work tirelessly to help them through it.

“I wanted to remind people that they are not alone and that there is support out there for them.

On behalf of Freqs Out East and VAPO, Hesson handed over a $1000 donation to Lifeline, a free crisis helpline proving confidential support from counsellors and trained volunteers.

“This is not a lot but everything helps,” he says.

“These guys save lives by just being there for people. They receive eight at risk suicide calls per day.

“To give you an idea [the $1000] will pay for 40 calls [to support those suffering from depression]”

Now Hesson says he wants to start a movement, encouraging other promoters, club owners, DJ’s sound companies, brands and anyone in our industry to spread awareness of depression and youth suicide rates.

“We have so many young people we can reach, why not use that to remind them that there are people around them who are willing to listen, to help,” Hesson says.

  • The next Freqs Out East is on October 27.

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