Are We More Connected Yet Lonelier Than Ever? EXIT and UNICEF Continue Youth Mental Health Campaign with European Festivals Joining In

In an ongoing collaboration, EXIT Foundation and UNICEF spearhead a campaign that brings youth mental health to the forefront and addresses its unique challenges in the digital age.

15. May 2024. — Author: EXIT

Launched at EXIT 2023 with a focus on digital addiction, the campaign now takes a deeper dive into the paradox of our connected yet lonely lives, even as we communicate daily through digital platforms. 

The campaign’s importance has also been recognised by the European festival association YOUROPE, whose members include globally renowned festivals such as Roskilde, Primavera Sound, Boom, Mad Cool, Pukkelpop, Sziget, and many others from 29 countries. Following EXIT’s initiative, YOUROPE has joined in an international campaign to raise awareness concerning the importance of youth mental health and the positive impact that festivals and live events have in this regard.

The concept of being “last seen” online has become one of the primary pieces of information people seek about us on social media and other communication platforms. In this digital age, EXIT and UNICEF’s campaign serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of authentic life experiences. When did we last feel adored and loved? When was the last time someone kissed or hugged us? When did we last dance? The message from these organizations is clear: let’s stay truly connected, because life is live. They ask: Are we, paradoxically, more connected yet lonelier than ever? 

The internet and social media have enabled constant communication but have also led to significant alienation. The global scale of loneliness has reached such proportions that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pressing health threat. On the other hand, the very essence of music festivals is in providing genuine, powerful experiences through meaningful human interaction. Considering the potential impact of a single large festival, it becomes clear how it can contribute to the long-term well-being of hundreds of thousands of individuals and even entire generations

EXIT and UNICEF are striving to highlight the immense importance of real-life interaction for mental health, especially for young people in the digital age. Visitors at this year’s Sea Star and EXIT Festival will have access to zones dedicated to this campaign. Moreover, the most prominent European festival association, Yourope, has backed this campaign through its “Future-Fit Festivals” (3F) platform, extending this critical conversation to hundreds of thousands of festival-goers.

As a reminder, on EXIT’s birthday, June 29 last year, EXIT Foundation and UNICEF launched a multi-year, comprehensive collaboration focused on raising awareness about the importance of youth mental health. This is one of the most pressing issues of our time, as poor mental health is a leading cause of illness, disability, and social exclusion. On the other hand, genuine conversation, closeness, and connection are vital resources for maintaining mental stability.

The beginning of the campaign, titled “Life Is Live,“ with the slogan “A true story lasts a lifetime,“ initially concentrated on digital addiction, urgently drawing attention to its alarming prevalence.


Alienation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, digital violence and abuse, feelings of insignificance, and unstable self-image are common topics in psychotherapy. Creating a complete digital identity, as opposed to a real one, and the illusion of connection and friendship without genuine closeness have left young people lonelier, more depressed, and more anxious than ever. This campaign is primarily aimed at them, but also anyone interested in mental health. 

Everyone can access the website, which will be filled with educational content throughout this long-term initiative. The campaign also directs attention to UNICEF’s and OPENS’ platform, which provides valuable information on the challenges young people face and verified solutions. The SVE JE OK platform offers educational and interactive texts, and if needed, young people can anonymously and freely talk to experts via chat or phone or schedule online counseling sessions through the SUPPORT section.