Why did the Tories use Brexit to stab our musicians in the back?

Festival: this site stated before Brexit happened that, if you’re a musician who regularly performs at EU events, you can kiss those big crowds goodbye – unless you’re getting paid big bucks for your performance.

This is unlikely to be music to anybody’s ears: not only are musicians facing red tape and costs that make touring in Europe prohibitive after Brexit – it turns out the Conservative government deliberately arranged it that way.

According to the Independent,

The UK rejected an offer of visa-free tours by musicians to EU countries, despite blaming Brussels for what the industry is calling the devastating blow of them requiring permits.

A “standard” proposal to exempt performers from the huge cost and bureaucracy for 90 days was turned down… because the government is insisting on denying that to EU artists visiting this country.

It seems insane. Last year the UK music industry brought £2.9 billion into the country.

Some of that came from tours that went to EU countries. This Writer is willing to bet that more money came from the EU to the UK than in the other direction.

So by denying a reciprocal deal for visa-free tours, Boris Johnson has turned down a huge amount of tax income.

Maybe he isn’t musical.

(More accurately, it seems Priti Patel is the one with the tin ear – as the extra red tape is part of her crackdown on immigration which has introduced tough restrictions on tours by EU musicians.)

If you’re wondering why this is such a problem, the new rules that make touring in the EU under post-Brexit conditions prohibitive are detailed here.

Stars including folk singer Laura Marling and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess have signed a parliamentary petition demanding visa-free tours, backed by almost 230,000 people.

Burgess explains the problems in another Independent article:

Bigger artists putting on stadium shows will more than likely be able to survive, but anyone below that level will be hit hard. Primarily by, you guessed it, “bureaucracy and red tape”.

Those costs mean that the precarious economics of touring Europe would make it impossible for so many artists starting out. Those artists that are lauded when they make it – those future Florences, Adeles and Eds – are having so many more obstacles put in front of them. It puts the music industry everyone is apparently so proud of under serious threat.

The government has said the Independent‘s story is incorrect and misleading.

But the restrictions have been imposed.

So who, exactly, is misleading who?

And how long will it be before the Tories realise they’ve made a mistake?

Source: UK ‘rejected offer’ of visa-free tours by musicians in EU, despite blaming Brussels for permit blow | The Independent

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  1. Stu January 13, 2021 at 12:35 am - Reply

    My sister-in-law usually performs her house music mainly in Eastern Europe and is a huge hit there.
    Only her live performances in the clubs is what keeps her making a living but the new red tape and restrictions could now make her essentially unemployed as it’s prohibitively expensive.

  2. Hecuba January 13, 2021 at 11:32 am - Reply

    The only real reason why the fascist tories refused to accept the EU’s offer of continued reciprocal arrangements concerning EU artists touring ‘little england’ is because the fascist tories don’t want those ‘nasty foreigners invading their country!’

    The fascist tories are racist and xenophobic and they prefer a so-called pure little england rather than having to endure artists from other EU countries having the right to tour here!

    Also the issue of visas affects all performing artists and this includes acting touring companies, ballet companies, opera companies and classical musicians! But the fascist tories aren’t interested in culture – their sole fascist obsession is profit and maintaining a fake ‘pure native little england!’

    Don’t believe the lies fascist tories utter because their mantra is ‘not our fault guv it’s those nasty foreigners within the EU!’

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