Industry Leaders Discuss Impact Of Brexit On Music And Night-time Economy 

UK Music hosted a panel at the Night-Time Industries Association summit to discuss the impact of Brexit on the music industry and night-time economy. 

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13.02.2023: UK Music hosted a panel at the Night-Time Industries Association summit to discuss the impact of Brexit on the music industry and night-time economy. 

Chaired by UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, the expert panel included Kevin Brennan MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music, Annabella Coldrick of the Music Managers Forum, and Dave Webster from the Musicians’ Union.

This is a photograph of Dave Webster talking into a microphone with Jamie Njoku-Goodwin listening intently.

Musicians’ Union’s Dave Webster discussing the impact of leaving the EU on touring with UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

At the event on Friday February 10 in London’s Docklands, the panel discussed a range of issues related to Brexit’s impact on the live music sector, including visas, carnets and cabotage. The panellists were united in calls for the Government to do more to help touring musicians overcome these issues. 

“The problem is there is a plethora of different arrangements for musicians who want to tour” said Kevin Brennan MP. He referred to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music’s Let the Music Move – A New Deal for Touring report and called on the Government to implement its key recommendations. These include the appointment of a “Touring Tsar” to co-ordinate the response of Government and other stakeholders to the issues facing touring cultural workers and calls to work with EU nations to set up a Cultural Touring Agreement to cut red tape and costs involved in EU touring.  

Dave Webster noted that “confusion is the buzzword” when it comes to touring the EU at the moment. He said that while information about post-Brexit touring was purely theoretical during the pandemic, since society has reopened musicians are frequently facing border guards who are not clear about the current rules. Despite the difficulties, he also took the opportunity to praise the music sector for coming together to try and resolve touring problems. 

This is a picture of Kevin Brennan talking into a microphone seated in front of a large screen with Annabella Coldrick and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin to his side.

APPG on Music Chair Kevin Brennan MP talking about the Let the Music Move report with MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

 The panel also discussed the recently emerging issue of US Touring Visas, for which the US Government have proposed a 250% increase in artist visa costs to over $1,600 per petition. Annabella Coldrick noted that opposition to this decision was behind the MMF and FAC reigniting their #Letthemusicmove campaign; while Kevin Brennan said he will lobby the Government to put pressure on the US to row back on this decision and that he has already put down a parliamentary question on this issue. 

Following some questions from the audience, Jamie thanked the panel for their interesting contributions. UK Music is committed to supporting the sector and lobbying policymakers to ensure that Government tears down the barriers facing touring artists. 

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