Government says ‘words won’t save careers’ in Brexit visa tour fiasco
Ahead of an online summit this week, figures in the UK music industry criticized the government for its continued lack of action and clarity on the Brexit touring situation.
- READ MORE: ‘It’s gonna be devastating’ – here’s how Brexit is going to screw up UK artists on tour
The government’s inability to negotiate visa-free travel and EU-wide work permits for musicians and crew members has raised concerns that artists face huge costs for future live music tours continent, which could create a glass ceiling preventing emerging and developing artists from being able to afford to do so.
He is also warned that thousands of jobs and millions of income for crew, transport and production will also be lost to the benefit of the EU.
Now, ahead of the UK-EU #CarryOnTouring summit and Day of Action this week, the government has come under fire for not yet clarifying the situation for UK artists wishing to plan European tours. A working group with representatives from all sectors of creation and culture has been set up, but it is said that nothing significant has come out of it yet.
David Martin is CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, a UK trade body representing specific rights and interests in music with members including Ed O’Brien and Imogen Heap of Radiohead, and said NME that “things just aren’t moving fast enough”.
“While it may seem heartening to hear government officials all the way down to the Prime Minister continually say they put this issue first, warm words will not save the careers of artists or other music companies. Martin said. NME. “The barriers faced by tourism professionals after leaving the EU are real and potentially terminal. The reality is that five months after the deal was struck, the music industry is no further ahead.
“The government must take immediate and decisive action by providing a financial support program for touring and must deliver on its promises by quickly agreeing to more sustainable and long-term solutions.”
Tomorrow (Thursday 20 May) will see # CarryOnTouring’s We can make it happen online summit – which is being held in a new attempt “to demonstrate support for professionals and creative touring artists” whose livelihoods will be affected by the UK’s departure from the European Union. It was hosted by Tim Brennan, a freelance touring video technician who was the author of the original petition calling for visa-free musician and crew passports after Brexit – which received over 280,000 signatures but was rejected by the government, which continued to blame the European Union for the situation.
“We’re no wiser now than we were in January,” Brennan told NME. “I think there are things going on and forms of discussion between industry bodies and government, but I don’t really feel that there has been any major progress in terms of concerns the EU. Every time we ask for progress, it’s like a broken record. It doesn’t inspire me.
“Time is passing. It’s good to sit down and discuss it, but without the COVID nightmare, we couldn’t have done a job anyway. We still don’t know what we’re doing.
Brennan added, “Great artists will have a massive entourage that will sort out all the mess for them and somehow they will. It’s the little guys and the new bands that still have a lot to lose. When it comes to notebooks, visas, work permits and everything, there just doesn’t seem to be any clarity from the government to tell us what’s really going on. The government put up a website and all it really says is, “If you want to do this, you better check that it’s okay.” “
Speaking from this week’s summit, Brennan said the main goal was to “raise awareness that this issue is still relevant and needs to be addressed.”
“This is a public event to demonstrate widespread support for the campaign and call on the government to make an exception,” he said. “With things starting to open up and bands trying to book tours, then we’re going to start losing gigs for bands and working for teams with quick government resolution. Touring as we have known is no longer possible. “
Keep Turning – Real People, Real Lives, Real Jobs
Join us for our online summit on May 20.
We bring together industry figures and politicians from the UK and EU to discuss post-Brex touring issues https://t.co/iixRtRt4tt pic.twitter.com/KmuCINtCSn
– Continuing tour campaign (@CarryonTouring_) May 10, 2021
Asked by MPs in February, Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage was criticized for the government’s lack of action in failing to renegotiate the terms of future tours with EU member states or to measure the potential damage that Brexit could have on British cultural industries of £ 111 billion or £ 111 billion. 5.2 billion music industry. The government has also been accused of treating the sector as ‘an afterthought’ in Brexit negotiations over the £ 1.2bn fishing industry.
Responding to the latest criticisms, a government spokesperson for the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports asserted that “it had always been clear that the end of freedom of movement would have implications for professional mobility” .
“However, short-term temporary visits for paid performances by British musicians are possible in at least 17 EU countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, without the need for visas or permits. job. The specific requirements vary from country to country and it is important to check the rules of member states before traveling, ”a spokesperson told NME.
“Along with the new directions for musicians, we continue to work closely with EU countries to see what further support we can provide to the sector.”
However, Brennan hit back last week at the government’s statement regarding touring in those 17 member states – arguing that the claim was “misleading.”
“There are different entry rules and a work permit requirement beyond allowances in these countries in terms of duration – which range from seven days a year to 90 days in Germany and France,” Brennan said.
“The government needs to recognize the extremely difficult landscape we have to navigate – even in those countries with some leeway.”
The post added, “Carry On Touring calls on Oliver Dowden to give creative touring professionals urgent clarity and certainty to move quickly towards resolution.
“Our cultural passport application (a VISA exemption agreement and a Schengen-wide work permit with free access) remains unchanged.”
It comes after the House of Lords urged the government to seek a ‘reciprocal’ touring deal with the EU, while Labor MP Harriet Harman recently suggested a 10-point plan for a post-Brexit tour.
Controversial issue across the continent, promoters of European festivals have said they may book fewer UK acts in the wake of Brexit, while figures in the UK music industry have expressed concern over the impact of agreement on musicians who might not be. able to tour Europe could also prevent them from acquiring a visa to play in the United States. Bookers in Europe said NME that “the effort should come from the UK” to overcome this problem.
The # CarryOnTouring We Can Work It Out day of action will take place on Thursday, May 20 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. BST. Those wishing to get involved can register their presence here and receive further details by sending an email to [email protected]