- 20 Feb 20
EU artist will now be subject to the same, costly permit rules that currently apply to their non-EU peers.
In the time leading up to Brexit, there was a sense of fear among touring musicians about restricted movement would affect them. The sad reality is here -- a few weeks past the UK's official exit, the Home Office has confirmed that EU artists must pay for visas in order to perform in the UK.
Currently, artists in the EU are able to freely travel to the UK and vice versa without work permits or visas. But the department announced on Tuesday that creative workers and sports players will need to apply for a Tier 5 visa in order to work in the UK. This includes performances, competitions, auditions, promotional activities, workshop attendance, giving talks about their work and taking part in cultural events or festivals.
The process can be burdensome and costly. Visas are required for not only the performers, but also crew members. Each costs £244, not including healthcare surcharges and biometric information costs. Expediting the process can cost up to an additional £800.
Everyone must also prove that they possess at least £945 in savings to prove they can support themselves, which must have been in their bank account for 90 days before application, and obtain a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer.
The Musicians' Union is currently trying to fight against the new restrictions by petitioning for a Musicians' Passport for "musicians working in the EU post-Brexit". The union is calling for one that's affordable, lasts at least two years, covers additional staff including crew members, covers all EU states and eliminates the need for further permits.
Horace Trubridge, general secretary of Musicians' Union, said: "Music and the performing arts rely on exchange of ideas and interaction between performers of different nationalities. We love working in the EU and we love artists coming over here. If musicians can't travel easily both ways, our reputation as a country that embraces all arts and culture will be severely damaged. Our members' ability to earn a living will also be severely affected."
Some British politicians are on the sides of the artists. Nigel Adams, previous Culture Minister who was recently appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth office and Department for Internatioal Development, told Music Week last month that "free movement for artists is absolutely essential".
There is still no clarification on how this will impact Irish artists, who under the Common Travel Area (CTA) are allowed to move and work freely between Ireland and the UK. Both the UK and Irish governments are still committed to keeping the CTA alive.