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Arlo Parks cancels tour dates, citing mental health concerns

The Mercury and BRIT Award winner will take a week off from her US run

By Joe Goggins

Arlo Parks on stage, 2021
The singer-songwriter will recuperate in London. (Photo: erintheredmc/Wikimedia Commons)

Arlo Parks has axed a string of US tour dates, citing mental health concerns.

The 22-year-old singer was continuing to support her wildly successful debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, on the road in North America, but has now flown home to London in order to rest and recuperate.

Parks will take around a week off, cancelling gigs in Boston, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver and Salt Lake City, before resuming the tour in Portland, Oregon at the Crystal Ballroom on September 26. The announcement comes only days after fellow breakout star Sam Fender also pulled US shows, similarly citing psychological burnout.

“I’ve been on the road on and off for the last 18 months, filling every spare second in between and working myself to the bone,” said Parks in a statement posted on Twitter. “It was exciting and I was eager to grind and show everyone what I was capable of, how grateful I was to be where I am today. The people around me started to get worried but I was anxious to deliver and afraid to disappoint my fans and myself.”

“I pushed myself unhealthily, further and harder than I should’ve,” she continued. “I find myself now in a very dark place, exhausted and dangerously low – it’s painful to admit that my mental health has deteriorated to a debilitating place, that I’m not okay, that I’m a human being with limits.”

“I don’t take decisions like this lightly but I am broken and I really need to step out, go home and take care of myself,” she concluded. The decision by Parks to prioritise her mental health met with praise on social media, and, along with Fender’s pulling of a handful of support slots to Florence + the Machine in the US, suggests a heightened awareness among a new generation of artists about the dangers of mental exhaustion.

Parks won the Mercury Prize last year for Collapsed in Sunbeams, as well as the 2021 BRIT Award for Breakthrough Artist. She went on to support the likes of Billie Eilish and Harry Styles on tour over this past summer.