Music industry sounds (yet another) Brexit warning


As we stagger ever closer to the Brexit deadline the music industry is ramping up its efforts to protect musicians’ freedom of movement. Without such a concession, it warns, life will be way more complicated for performers once we leave Europe.

For those who doubt that the extra red tape and cost of travelling to Europe post-Brexit will impact musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has produced a report that spells it out in black and white. (Thanks guys.) It’s not an upbeat read, but it is an important one.

Musicians and Brexit examines the concerns of more than 1,600 musicians regarding freedom of movement post-Brexit. It reveals that:

  • More than 40% of musicians have noticed an impact on their work as a result of Brexit. (Up from 26% in 2017 and 19% in 2016)
  • 39% of musicians travel to the EU more than five times a year. 12% travel to the EU more than 20 times a year
  • More than one in eight performers had less than seven days’ notice between being offered work and having to take it.

The report also shows performing in non-EU countries presents its own challenges. Here’s what musicians said about performing in non-EU countries:

  • More than a third of musicians had experienced difficulties with visas when travelling outside the EU. In fact, of those experiencing difficulties 79% of those identified visas as the source of those difficulties
  • The purely financial cost is significant, and whilst employers and engagers often cover the visa costs, 33% of musicians still spent more than £300 a year on securing visas to work (5% of musicians spent more than £1,000 a year)
  • But this is not just about the obvious financial costs: 15% of UK musicians have lost a job opportunity because of problems with visas.

The solution, says the ISM and a load of other music industry bodies, is for freedom of movement to be protected for musicians post-Brexit.

Deborah Annetts, ISM chief executive and founder of the cross-arts FreeMoveCreate campaign says: “At a time of great uncertainty, musicians need to know their jobs in Europe will be secure once Britain leaves the EU.

“Given how much of musicians’ work and income is dependent on travel to the EU27, and given the importance of cultural exchange in the arts, we are urging the UK Government and EU to reach an agreement on mobility for musicians and other artists post-Brexit as soon as possible.”

To read the full report CLICK HERE.


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