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UK Government “should be doing more” for post-Brexit touring crisis

A new survey by UK Music revealed that the public think the Government is not being pro-active enough

A new survey carried out by UK Music has suggested the public think the Government is not doing enough to help musicians overcome post-Brexit barriers to overseas touring.  

UK Music carried out the poll following a range of complaints across the music and events sector about extra costs and paperwork that are expected to arise as clubs and gig venues begin to reopen across Europe following closures forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows the lack of a deal on freedom of movement for touring artists and crew, between EU and UK Government negotiators when the UK completed its withdrawal from the European Union at the end of 2020.

2,080 people were questioned on their views as part of the poll, which was carried out earlier in June. 58% of those polled agreed that “the government should be doing more to ensure musicians can work abroad post-Brexit”, and only 7% disagreed with the statement.

Speaking about the issue, UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: "For months, the UK music industry has been calling for an urgent solution to the challenges facing British musicians and crews wanting to work and tour in Europe. Now it’s clear that the public is behind us and voters want to see more action too.

“The government has just proved in its trade deal with EEA member states that the visa barriers can be removed when enough political will is applied. Now they must do the same in negotiations with EU member states and ensure British musicians can work and tour in Europe with ease.

“We also need a resolution to so-called "cabotage" rules, which impose restrictions on UK hauliers over the number of stops they can make in the EU, making touring impractical and unviable for many."

Njoku-Goodwin also put forward the idea of "a touring transition fund", which he said would "mitigate the increased costs and red tape now faced by UK musicians seeking to tour the EU. A government-backed Export Office, he added, would "help support international touring plans, and promote and back the UK music industry overseas".

Find out more about the outcomes of UK Music's poll here.

In April, more than 300 arts organisations joined together to urge the UK Government to do more to act on the post-Brexit touring crisis.

Read DJ Mag's January feature on what Brexit means for touring UK and EU artists here.