Los Angeles based emerging rock band, Exist Elsewhere, is teaming up with the anti-bullying organization NVEEE on the unique REACH 2014 national high school tour. Exist Elsewhere band members believe that artists have a responsibility to influence and communicate with their fans, and I congratulate them for that. We will talk about their music - which is wonderful and gaining popularity rapidly - and their REACH tour to take advantage of the face to face interaction that live performances present. They are out there on stage day after day to inspire positivity and communicate on the important, on-going issue of bullying in the United States.
Their tour will span 14 cities in 6 states over a three week period, launching in Los Angeles, where they will begin their first live performance/lecture of the series. Each lecture is set to include a proprietary “beating bully with music” component that has been designed by the NVEEE organization specifically for the tour. Directly following each performance students will have a chance to hear the band’s take on overcoming bullying through an intimate Q&A segment. The campaign and what it stands for is close to band leader Noah Benardout's heart. A teen himself, he has seen firsthand the effect that bullying can have, both in his personal life and through experiencing the battle with bullying that his younger sister has experienced. His passion for outreach and prevention, and utilizing music as a tool to take a stand, is a major reason why Exist Elsewhere are taking part in the “Be Upstanding” initiative.
It did not take me much research to learn that every 30 minutes a child takes his or her life as a direct result of bullying - it's called "bullycide". Every day, 30% of American high school students face some kind of bullying, whether they’re the victim or the bully. Even more alarming, 80% of students experience cyber bullying, while 77% of each incident is verbal. Bullying has a profound effect on each victim, giving them emotional and psychological battles to face throughout their life, from depression to poor self-esteem that can derail their everyday lives. Shockingly, in 85% of each of these cases nothing is done to intervene. That’s why Exist Elsewhere and NVEEE are determined to influence and inspire change through the power of music on the REACH 2014 High School Tour.
I look forward to talking to them about their work to stop bullycide and bullying and about the music that is driving the tour..