Mick Jagger said Brexit has been a “nightmare” for the music touring industry, with musicians now facing even more red tape when travelling into the UK.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, the Rolling Stone said: “There are a lot of supply chain problems. A lot of shortages, a lot of problems because of Brexit. Brexit has not been a success for the British touring industry.”
Indeed, since leaving the EU, artists entering the UK must obtain visas and work permits, which make it increasingly difficult for indie musicians to perform and tour across the country.
The situation has only been worsened by the ongoing impact of Covid, as well as travel restrictions and testing.
“I’m not saying, ‘Well, we’ve got to rejoin the EU.’ Unfortunately that’s all in the past. But from personal experience and talking to friends who are in other businesses, it’s not a success, it’s a nightmare”, Jagger added.
“We’ve isolated ourselves, and that sounds good to some, but it’s an ideology more than a practicality.”
This was something that was echoed by AEG CEO of European Festivals, and mastermind of Hyde Park’s British Summer Time (BST) and Victoria Park’s All Points East, Jim King.
King told City A.M. that Brexit red tape has made it hard for musicians to tour in the UK, making margins thinner and thinner for grafting artists.
Having started his own career as an indie music promoter, “counting £100 profit on mum and dad’s kitchen table after renting out music halls at school”, King praised the ongoing “resourcefulness” of music fans, artists and organisers despite these obstacles.