Musicians’ Union calls for post-Brexit touring visa

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is calling for the introduction of a new EU touring visa that would make it easier for UK musicians to work in Europe post-Brexit.

A petition has formed asking for fans and musicians alike to sign and show their support for the initiative and pressure government and parliament to secure European touring for UK acts.

This comes amid Brexit fears from the music industry about the nature of the post-Brexit environment and how seriously leaving the European Union will affect revenues.

On the official petition page, the MU says that most musicians and performers rely on touring and performing in the European Union to make a living, and thus reliable access to EU markets is essential.

The group warns: ‘Placing costly and resource heavy barriers to that could have a severe impact on working and aspiring musicians – as well as the broader UK music industry.

‘Musicians visit multiple countries on tour, often jumping across borders on a daily basis, often with very little notice.

‘If every musician has to get a visa and carnet for every country they visit, it will make any work in Europe impossible to schedule, regardless of whether they are an emerging band or a world-renowned orchestra.’

Horace Trubridge, MU general secretary said: ‘Music and the performing arts rely on exchange of ideas and interaction between performers of different nationalities. We love working in the EU and we love artists coming over here. If musicians can’t travel easily both ways, our reputation as a country that embraces all arts and culture will be severely damaged. Our members’ ability to earn a living will also be severely affected’

The MU are far from the first organisation working in the music industry to voice their concerns over the practical implications of Brexit.

Beggars Group, a group of record labels containing XL Recordings, Rough Trade and 4AD, expressed serious Brexit concerns earlier in the year, saying: ‘Revenues from the EU are a critical element of the business. Therefore, it is of some concern that the arrival of Brexit may hold back further growth.’

They went on to say: ‘We are concerned with the uncertainty around post-Brexit plans for adopting EU Directives and Regulations that currently serve to protect our IP rights.’

The MU plan to present their proposal for an EU touring visa to both Labour and Conservative Party conferences in the coming weeks.

Sign the petition here.