Tag Archives: tour

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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Musicians: brace yourselves for the hidden costs of EU touring the Brexiteers never mentioned

Festival: 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.

As a musician myself – even though I’ve never toured in Europe – this is infuriating.

I know musicians who do gig on the Continent, and the new costs triggered by Brexit are likely to make it impractical for them to continue.

Wasn’t Brexit supposed to make it easier for us all to ply our trades? Do you know anybody who actually and materially benefits from January 1 onwards?

Here’s Howard Goodall to explain the bad news:

Last summer, the arts/culture charity I currently chair – Radnor Fringe Festival – ran an online version of its annual event because Covid-19 made a physical festival with thousands of people standing around shoulder-to-shoulder impossible. It was a huge success.

We’re currently working on making the online festival an ongoing thing, with new content by musicians, artists, actors and so on, to be funded initially by donations.

Personally, I see this as one way for UK musicians to get their sounds out to the Continent while the Brexit insanity holds sway.

It won’t be the same as being there at a gig, but it might be the only cost-effective way of being heard.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Band calls on fans to help the homeless. Will you?


This Writer has always liked The Levellers and now I like them more.

The band is using its current tour to help homeless people in the towns where the tour will be stopping.

Here are Charlie and Matt to explain how it works:

I’ll be seeing the band at Llandudno at the end of this month and I intend to help.

If you’re a fan, check the lists on this Facebook page to see what you can bring.

Levellers have a new album, called Peace, out on August 14.

Here’s a taste of what it is and what they’re about:

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VIDEO – Johnson’s greatest flops: it’s been a bad week to be a Tory

Hand over mouth: It’s the only way he can stop himself putting his foot in it.

The first full week of the general election campaign could not have gone worse for Boris Johnson.

It was like a re-run of the Conservative government’s greatest flops since it came into office in 2010, starting with Boris Johnson’s disgusting failure to respond to the flooding crisis in the north, and ending with the Bolton blaze, accelerated by cladding – two years after dozens were killed in Grenfell Tower.

The opinion polls might have said the opposite, but he started out in a terrible situation – caused by his own government’s misbehaviour over a period of years:

Mr Johnson tried to undertake a tour of the UK, but few members of the public seemed to want to talk to him…

… and many of the appearances seemed to have been arranged as if in secret.

His television appearances were a similar disaster, with the prime minister coming across as a stumbling zombie:

https://twitter.com/hardcastIe/status/1195267953610149888

It seems he’s hopeless if he hasn’t got a script. This radio interview is even worse:

So, after the first full week of campaigning, this is the verdict:

There are many more clips I could have used in this piece; there will be many more to come. I’m looking forward to seeing Mr Johnson cock up his response to the Bolton blaze, for example.

For voters everywhere, there can be only one conclusion: This man and his party must be removed from office on December 12.

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Brexit Party tour bus towed after it was found wedged in a lay-by

Wedged: The Brexit bus in the lay-by. According to the arrow on the side, the direction of Brexit is straight into a hedge.

How ironic for the party that says it has the muscle to leave the European Union; it can’t even manage its way out of a lay-by outside Brecon and Radnorshire.

The Brexit Party has been using the distinctive blue-and-white open-topped bus to ferry its candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, Des Parkinson, around the constituency.

But the tour came to a thudding halt yesterday when the bus was found, abandoned and wedged sideways in a lay-by at Nantddu, outside the constituency on the road between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil.

BBC Wales weather presenter Sue Charles discovered the abandoned bus on her way through the Brecon Beacons last night (July 27):

She contacted the police, who had been informed already. This morning, she followed up on it – and Twitter started having fun:

https://twitter.com/Arboritae/status/1155439383748718593

I’ve contacted Des Parkinson to ask what happened. If he responds, I’ll report it here.

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