‘Tonic’ – Music for Mental Health Charity & Patron Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols) @ Mucky Weekender Festival 2022

September 16, 2022 2:45 pm

Tonic, Music for Mental Health Charity with Barry Ashworth (Dub Pistols) at Mucky Weekender 2022 – OnTrax passed through for the Friday.

Check out our photos of performances, festival and behind the scenes below, keep reading for details on Tonic Charity at the end.

Mucky Weekender Music & Arts festival was curated by Dub Pistols’ frontman Barry Ashworth, Patron of Tonic Music Charity for mental health in the music industry – the event returned for its third instalment to a stunning new location, set within 28 acres of private parkland near Winchester (4000 capacity). The intimate gathering features four stages of live band music, world class DJs, street performers, comedy, magic and an exclusive art installation in the woods called “The Shack’ – created especially by Arlen Figgis, son of British Film Director Mike Figgis.

Barry Ashworth says, “Everyone’s a star at Mucky Weekender. I’m a strong believer that the crowd are just as important as the performers. Everyone has a smile on their face and are full of love. It’s the kind of festival you could go to alone and leave with 1000 new friends. We are really excited to host this event and can’t wait to put a smile back on peoples’ faces”.

Barry Ashworth – Dub Pistols (Muso Muso)

OnTrax spoke with Barry Ashworth on the lead up to the festival to get some information on ‘Tonic – Music for Mental Health’ (Please read the write up below the festival review) and then headed down to Mucky on the Friday 9th Sept for a day filled with authentic music, as Barry describes ‘the best of the best!’.

Tonic had a stall at the festival raising money for their charity work and it was great to meet the smiley, helpful team! And find out more about their workshop Rider that was set up for artist during covid:

Mucky Weekender once again proudly supported the local charity “Tonic Music For Mental Health”.  The charity is based on the south coast of England. They promote creative mental health support recovery through music. The charity have helped many isolated and vulnerable people in the community www.tonicmusic.co.uk

Barbara was joined by friend, Producer/Director Linzy Attenborough.

World class DJs and live performers were carefully curated to maximise the party vibe, with some of the best music, past, present and future. Stages featured House Icon Robert Owens & X-Press 2, The Prodigy’s Leeroy Thornhill, Krafty Kuts brings his King Of The Beats project with Freestylers & Plump DJs, The Clash/BAD’s Don Letts and so much more… The main stage saw live performances from festival hosts Dub Pistols, Dreadzone, Hollie Cooke, The Hempolics, Eva Lazarus plus there will be stage takeovers from the likes of Jungle Cakes Ed Solo, Deekline & Benny page, Faith Fanzine feat Terry Farley & Modcast. 

Whilst soaking up the atmosphere Mucky Weekenders were also treated to an array of happenings showcasing street performers, magic, comedy and an extra special art installation nestled in the woods called “The Shack”, created especially for the festival by Arlen Figgis, son of renowned British film director, screenwriter and composer Mike Figgis, plus new for 2022 was the latest stage addition named The Pirate Ship which had some pumping DnB when I was there on Friday!

”The Shack”

The Shack – Mark Draper Photography

A few snaps of some of the amazing artists performing on stage 

There was a vast mix of genres that all fused together like organic magic! Authentic lyrics, feel good vibes, booming baseline. The sound system was ace.

Emily Capell - Spart Studio
Emily Capell – Spart Studio Photo






Behind the scenes!

Barbara spoke with Barry on the lead up to the festival to find out about the charity ‘Tonic’ to inform our audience about the services available.

How can Tonic help people in need?

Tonic helps people in recovery from common issues faced in the music, entertainment, and arts industry, such as:

  • The general highs and lows
  • Exhaustion
  • Travelling
  • Drinking, partying
  • Rejection.

Check out Tonic’s website for full info.

There’s a mix of online sessions, workshops and one-to-one counselling available to also help professionals and organisations in arts and entertainment.

Barry said that during the lockdowns mental health issues hit a new high and as artists weren’t getting booked/paid and as they lost the enjoyment and stimulation of what they loved to do, suicides rocketed.

That’s when ‘Tonic’ set up gem – ‘Tonic Rider’; online group sessions and counselling to help prevent suicides.

Barry was passionate about the charity and got involved 9 years ago as he had battled with his own experiences with mental health issues that he felt were connected to the music industry and therefore empathised with artists on a deeper level. Barry said that ‘the Dub Pistols is well known for being the most successfully unsuccessful band out there!’ (we laughed!) And all members had suffered with forms of mental health issues, it was all very ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’.  He’d battled with depression as a result of the bands lifestyle, partying after gigs, suffering with ‘come downs’ and feeling as though he’d made a twat of himself! There were moments when he’d felt like what was the point? Barry has lost a few friends in the music industry to suicide and that’s why he believes in the charity and helps them to fundraiser to support those struggling with the same issues he once did.

‘The music industry is a cruel world … well, ‘life’, is.’ Barry said. 

I asked him what advice he would give to anyone who is working within the arts (or in any line of work) that’s suffering with mental health issues ‘Make sure you talk to someone, open up’.

He said that ‘People often feel as though they are a burden and therefore don’t want to ask for help, people who have mental health issues will often go quiet.‘ He said, ‘it’s important to be aware of the changes in their behavior‘.