Government announcement on EU touring – is it enough?

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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours in 19 EU countries. Whilst this progress is welcome, there is still a lot of work to be done.

You can read the announcement published on the Government website in full here.

In the statement, the Government confirms discussions have taken place with every EU Member State about the issues facing musicians when looking to tour in Europe, and that 19 States have confirmed UK musicians do not require visas or work permits for ‘short-term’ tours.

The Musicians’ Union says:

“We acknowledge that the Government is working on these issues, however the list of nineteen countries does not include important territories like Spain, where UK musicians are having major issues with touring.

In addition, the announcement makes no mention of crew, drivers, carnets, or fees for moving equipment. Therefore, without seeing more detail, the Union is unsure whether this represents new information or simply a statement of the current situation for musicians and performers.”

NME have published an article titled ‘Government accused of “spin” and “meaningless posturing” for latest Brexit touring claims’ which you can read in full here. The article includes quotes and perspectives from organisations such as the #CarryOnTouring campaign, the Music Managers Forum, the industry group LIVE, and the Featured Artists Coalition. 

These organisations point out that the Government have not presented the full picture in their statement, and that visas and work permits are only the tip of the iceberg.