Over 200 artists have backed a campaign pushing the government to act on Brexit-related red tape around touring in the EU.
The #LetTheMusicMove campaign, launched today, was set up by the Featured Artists’ Coalition (FAC). It is calling for a “transitional support package” to cover new costs placed on UK artists and music businesses after Brexit.
The EU touring market was the largest for the UK music industry, supporting an estimated 33,000 British jobs.
Artists supporting the campaign include Biffy Clyro, Wolf Alice, Annie Lennox, Rick Astley, Radiohead and Bob Geldof.
FAC is asking the government to establish a long-term plan to ensure UK artists and crew can continue to work in all EU countries. In return, it says the government should give EU artists reciprocal freedoms and access to perform at UK venues and festivals.
New post-Brexit rules require UK touring vehicles to return to the UK after only three stops in Europe and have introduced new instrument and equipment passports.
David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, said:
“Five years on from the referendum vote and six months after the deal was agreed, there has been scant progress from the Government to protect the artist businesses that fuel the industry. Touring is essential; it provides opportunities to build audiences, access new markets and develop careers, and it is this activity that supports our recorded music sector. It is time for the Government to fulfil the Prime Minister’s promises to “fix” the crisis facing Britain’s artists.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:
“Short-term, temporary visits for paid performances by UK performers are possible in at least 17 EU countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, without needing visas or work permits.”
Entertainment union Bectu, as reported by the BBC, said DCMS’s statement does not “match up to the expectation that you can do what you could before” Brexit. Instead, there are “varying degrees of bureaucracy” in those countries.