Independent UK labels and artists are struggling with the crippling impact of Brexit. Figures in the UK music industry are now revealing that the “spiralling costs” of sending products to Europe is having an adverse effect on their business following the Brexit deal.
Although the massive effects of the Brexit decision are manifold when it comes to the arts sector in general, a number of post-Brexit factors have led to independent artists and labels losing huge sums as they face obstacles shipping their products to Europe. Sales to Europe have plummeted due to a significant increase in postage prices, and now, for European customers that have braved the prices hike, a lot of products are being held up in customs and sent back.
Per a report in NME, The Anchoress discussed how she saw “an immediate impact with Brexit” when her album The Art of Losing was released in March. “We got lots of reports of fans in Europe whose pre-orders of an ‘Amazon exclusive’ vinyl version of The Art Of Losing got cancelled and we never really got a straight answer as to why it was,” she said. “It seemed like Amazon weren’t even sure what the new rules would be, so didn’t want to take the chance with orders being returned”.
She continued: “Since then, it’s been a sorry tale of merch held up in customs – most recently an order from my Bandcamp store took two months to get to Ireland. Similar tales for the rest of Europe as even low-value items are held up in the post. Things have been made slightly easier of late as Bandcamp has introduced charging VAT and tax at the point of sale for European customers”.
The Anchoress concluded: “While this might take the guessing game out of how much an item will end up costing them, I also see that orders to Europe have plummeted in terms of numbers of sales. The extra import charges are just too high for most people”.
Meanwhile, the post-Brexit furore continues in every sector of life as the music industry tries to adapt to the huge challenges it faces. Last month, a number of leading organisations and figures in the music industry published an open letter to the UK government over “misleading” new claims about the situation for artists and crew touring the continent.