ISM urges creatives to join campaign for flexible travel post-Brexit

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The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has called for those working in the creative industries to support its #FreeMoveCreate campaign to protect flexible travel for musicians and creatives, post-Brexit.

Speaking at a Westminster Media Forum on the global music market last week, Henry Vann, head of external affairs, said: ‘The ISM’s Brexit surveys found that one in five professional musicians have already noticed a negative impact from Brexit on their livelihood.

‘Musicians themselves have told us, “I’ve been unable to book tours into Europe beyond 2019” or, “I’ve already had three projects cancelled because EU grants are no longer available for applications.”

‘Another had an audition turned down simply because of the result of the referendum.’

Describing the impact of Brexit as, ‘a hard reality’, Vann pointed to organisations already leaving the UK, including the European Union Youth Orchestra, which recently, ‘announced that it was moving to Italy, having been established in London in 1976’.

With British artists accounting for 25.9 percent of European album sales in 2015, Vann suggested this value could be protected as Brexit commences, by investing in more infrastructure in the EU.

‘We’ve spoken with organisations that are developing their links with Europe and preparing to set up offices in the EU,’ he said.

Vann was speaking on a panel titled, Key Brexit challenges and opportunities, and the sector’s role in the UK’s Industrial Strategy: skills, trade and attracting inward investment.

Confirming ISM’s position on flexible travel for musicians and creatives post-Brexit, he said: ‘Our survey results suggest musicians are 25 percent more likely to tour in the EU than the rest of the world.

‘The priority is not visas. An ESTA-style multiple entry pass across the EU to cover work or study is what we think is needed.’

‘If you’re interested in the idea of flexible travel for all creative professionals, I would urge you to join the #FreeMoveCreate campaign.

Also on the panel was musical artist and artistic director at the Featured Artists Coalition, Roxanne de Bastion, who said that the ordeal of obtaining a P visa to tour in the US had put her off future work in the country.

‘There’s no way I would go through that again,’ she said, warning that artists would likewise be put off by an EU touring visa.

To join the #FreeMoveCreate campaign, visit

See also: How to get a US visa in the Age of Trump: part one