Lewis Capaldi wants to help anxious fans at his shows

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Lewis CapaldiImage source, dawbell
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Lewis has spent seven weeks at the top of the UK chart with Someone You Loved

Singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has launched a scheme to help fans with anxiety.

Every ticket for his upcoming arena tour includes a 50p charge to fund a team at each venue to help with stress-related issues.

Lewis tells Radio 1 Newsbeat he gets lots of messages from fans who want to see him but say their "anxiety won't allow them to."

He says it's a problem that's "always kind of bugged him".

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The 22-year-old, who's spent seven weeks at the top of the UK chart with Someone You Loved, says the LIVELIVE initiative has been inspired by his own anxiety.

Lewis tells us his panic attacks have affected his work, even if he's only had "a handful" of them in his life.

"I've had a couple on stage, there was this instance where we were supporting Bastille in Manchester and I had to stop on my second-to-last song."

"I had to let everyone know, 'I'm really sorry, I'm having a panic attack, I need to stop'."

He says he's never been shy about telling people: "I feel like it's like telling someone you have a cold, you wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone - so for me I feel quite lucky I can talk about it."

Lewis says he's always felt he can be open and upfront about his anxiety but knows it's not the same for others.

"This is my attempt at helping make these shows enjoyable for as many of those people who have been supporting this journey for me."

Fans will also have access to an email address ahead of shows to discuss concerns and pre-arrange access to specially designated "escape spaces" before, during or after gigs.

"Even if they have nobody to come along with, these guys will be there for them.

"That's a big thing - I would be anxious if I was going to a show by myself."

Assistance can be arranged so fans can be met at the door and escorted to their seats.

The idea will be in place for Lewis' 2020 arena tour, which will see him performing his biggest headline shows to date including gigs at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and London's Wembley Arena, all before the release of his debut album.

"I'm very aware it's a very big thing to try and do but I think we're going to try our best to get it to run as smoothly as possible."

"I'm quite confident we'll be able to make it work with the guys that are doing the counselling," he adds.

"And I think with a little bit of success we could make it a more widespread thing, to be able to offer this to everyone at all gigs."

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