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(Credit: Joey Thompson)

Huge new costs from new Brexit deal could stop musicians touring Europe

The chances of UK musicians being able to tour Europe have been dealt a seismic blow following the huge new costs that have emerged following the recent Brexit deal.

This issue comes after musicians were not included on the list of workers exempt from entering the EU without a visa. This problem will also affect British artists getting to tour abroad. However, the new deal will also make it difficult for European artists to travel to the United Kingdom. These new rules state that from January, once free movement ends, anyone from the EU who wants to perform in the UK must apply for an expensive visa. Additionally, musicians must provide proof of savings and a certificate of sponsorship from the organisers of the event.

The difficulties faced by non-EU artists to perform in the UK due to bureaucracy will now also trouble EU artists. Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, has urged the government to reconsider the “additional costs and bureaucracy could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.

“There is a real risk that British musicians will not be able to bear the cost of extra bureaucracy and delays which would put some tours at risk,” Njoku-Goodwin added. “If musicians and creators from overseas face barriers and costs getting into the UK, audiences here could miss out on seeing some of their favourite acts.

“The prime minister has promised there will be no non-tariff barriers, so it is vital that government delivers on this promise and ensures there are no barriers to British musicians working and touring through Europe. We will be seeking urgent reassurances on this from government.”

Step Music Management’s Ellie Giles, who looks after artists like Warmduscher and Bill Ryder-Jones, posted a thread on Twitter that examined the new financial difficulties artists will face.

“Band releases album. Getting a nice response in Europe. You think yes, we should start building a live market there. You get offered €300 each for Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam,” she tweeted. Giles then said that the average costs of each show would be around £1,800 a day, adding: “Yes, it wasn’t viable before, it was tough but now it’s made it twice as bad.”

An online petition named ‘Seek Europe-wide Visa-free work permit for Touring professionals and Artists’ has already racked up close to 40,000 signatures as the music industry pulls together.

Check out the petition, here.

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