Sam Fender cancels concerts admitting he has neglected his mental health for over a year

·Contributor
·3 min read
Sam Fender performs at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in August 2022 in San Francisco, California
Sam Fender has cancelled a string of performances to look after his own mental health. (Getty Images)

Sam Fender has pulled out of a series of concerts to look after his own mental health.

The Will We Talk? singer was due to headline three remaining shows on his US tour as well support Florence and the Machine, but he admitted he had decided to cancel his appearances as his friends and family had been worried about him for some time.

Fender, 28, said in a statement on social media: “It seems completely hypocritical of me to advocate discussion on mental health and write songs about it if I don’t take the time to look after my own mental health.

Read more: Are you at risk of burnout? Signs, symptoms and how to deal with it

“I’ve neglected myself for over a year now and haven’t dealt with things that have deeply affected me. It’s impossible to do this work on myself while on the road, and it’s exhausting feigning happiness and wellness for the sake of business.

“My friends and colleagues have been worried about me for a while and it’s not going to get better unless I take time to do so."

The Seventeen Going Under singer thanked his fans for their support and listed the shows he would be not be performing at, including the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas.

Sam Fender watching a Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle in September 2022. (PA)
Sam Fender watching a Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle in September 2022. (PA)

He continued: “I am eternally overwhelmed by the love and support of our fans and I hate to let you down, but the state of my wellbeing is starting to affect everything I do, including my performances.

“I refuse to get out there and not give it my all EVERY time, as you all deserve nothing less. As a result, I’m sadly going to have to take some time off the road.”

Fender added: “I am also especially sorry to everyone who’s been waiting for news on the rescheduled UK record store dates but the decision has been taken to cancel these shows (hopefully we can work something out for those ticket holders, you’ll hear from us soon) so I can come back stronger.”

The British singer from North Shields - who is due to play Newcastle football ground St James' Park in June 2023 - had previously cancelled UK tour dates in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Fender poses for photographers at the London Film Festival in 2019.
Sam Fender has written songs about mental health and male suicide. (AP)

Fender finished by saying: “Super excited for Australia in late November and everything to come in 2023 – St James’ Park man, f***ing unbelievable.

"Me and the boys are burnt out and we need this time. Thank you for always sticking by us.”

He is nominated for the 2022 Mercury Music Prize, which has been delayed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Fender's track Dead Boys addresses the prevalence of suicide among young men.

The singer previously revealed how he was contacted by a fan who claimed he had been saved from taking his own life by hearing Fender discussing mental health issues on the radio.

The Get You Down singer told Yahoo Entertainment in 2020: "It was the catalyst that made him go seek help...

Read more: How Sam Fender saved a suicidal fan's life

“Now he's happy. He has kids as well. He came and met me and we had an interview and it was really surreal. To be honest, I didn't really know what to say to him, because I'm not a hero; I'm not a therapist or a doctor. I'm definitely not going to overestimate the clout of my job; I'm primarily just an entertainer, that's what musicians do. But he was saying that split moment, that moment of acknowledgement, saved him."

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

Watch: Sam Fender's childhood dream is to perform at Newcastle's St James' Park