- 28 Jun 21
Without new measures, UK artists will face a number of restrictions and some serious red tape when touring begins...
Over 200 artists and musicians, including the likes of Radiohead, Idles, Wolf Alice and Northern Ireland's own Two Door Cinema Club, have started a new campaign with other UK music industry figures called #LetTheMusicMove.
Launched five years on from the original Brexit referendum vote on June 23 2016, the artist-led campaign wants a reduction of costs and restrictions for UK artists when touring in Europe.
The UK Government has so far failed to negotiate visa-free travel for British musicians and crew after Brexit, or work visas to tour in Europe – despite the fact that the UK is one of the biggest music exporters in the world, and Europe is their most important market.
Some of the restrictions your favourite acts will face touring include: their vehicles being limited to three stops in Europe before having to return to the UK, and a goods passport (aka a carnet) for their instruments and equipment. This will potentially create a glass ceiling where musicians – who need to tour in order to break out of the UK market – could be unable to afford to do so.
The campaign is calling for:
- An urgent Transitional Support Package to cover new and additional costs for touring artists and crews in the EU
- Measures to overcome restrictive “cabotage” rules on UK vehicles touring Europe
- A viable long-term plan for UK artists and crew to continue working in all EU-27 countries, without costly permits and bureaucracy
- To ensure European artists have reciprocal freedoms and access to perform at UK venues and festivals.
“EU touring and the need to get the right processes in place for simple and economical access to Europe is crucial at this time more than ever,” said Skin of Skunk Anansie, in support of the campaign. “It is the lifeblood of bands and artists, not just financially, but in order to expand their fanbase and deliver their art to a wider audience.
“EU touring also opens up the windows of touring on a global scale with surrounding countries and continents, with the knock-on effect of the impact that bands and artists have that tour there. We need action, we need support, we need access, and we need it now!”
Festival promoters in Europe have said that they could be likely to book fewer UK-based acts at festivals and large events as a result of Brexit, and European bookers have also said that the onus should be on the UK government to overcome the issue.
Music fans can learn more and pledge their support for the movement at letthemusicmove.org.