09.07.2021: Ross Patel, manager of Bristol-based Elder Island, sets out the extra costs and red tape now facing the musical group post-Brexit ahead of their European tour next year. The group was forced to postpone its planned 2020 tour because of Covid to 2022.
Elder Island’s house-inflected 2014 debut received airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and many more outlets. Their first full-length album, The Omnitone Collection, was released in 2019 and Elder Island toured across North America and Europe that year to support the album. In November 2020, the group announced a follow-up album, Swimming Static, with group and their team investing thousands of pounds into building fanbases and audiences around the world – mostly across EU and US – to support their small entrepreneurial business.
The band’s fanbase has become strong in Spain, where the band commanded a 75% increase in fee since the previous tour in Dec 2019 and saw Madrid added to the routing, which already included Barcelona.
Because the scheduled 2022 headline tour was previously due to take place in 2020, the routing and fees had already been agreed with many of the promoters. The £4,000 in guaranteed fees covers the direct costs of touring for the artists and ideally seven-strong touring party.
Due to the Covid-19 postponement, we now potentially face significant additional and unexpected costs for work permits and carnets estimated at over £2,500, due to the UK having now left the EU, which we cannot factor in as the deals have already been negotiated.
If not for the band taking the hit on these additional costs, it would have meant removing the Spanish shows altogether. The knock-on impact being a loss of future earnings, inability to employ the small business entrepreneurial crew that tour with the band, and loss of momentum in a competitive market.
It would have also meant losing out on festival offers, which we were expecting to come in 2021 to the tune of £10k and £20k per booking – and would expect to see this increase year-on-year.
We seriously considered having to cut other dates, losing more earnings and momentum in other markets like Germany and Poland as the revenue from one show contributes to the overall tour costs.
If we did cut the dates, this would all drastically impact the band’s business. We would also see a drop in streaming revenue from the markets where we don’t perform.
There would be no merchandise retail and possibly no festival bookings, which play a huge part in sustaining the income. There is no doubt these extra costs and red tape are detrimental to the band’s performance. They jeopardise the smooth operation of the tour as a whole.
This is our story for a tour that is now almost certainly not going to turn a profit. There will be countless other bands, musicians and crew that face exactly the same costs and barriers for simply trying to do their job.
Key facts for Elder Island 2022 EU tour:
- EU tour routing already pushed back from 2020 – Spain is absolutely a key market because of both festivals and hard ticket fans.
- Spain is currently the most expensive work visa at £323-£350 per person. Touring with skeleton crew and the band is 7 people x £350 = £2,450 for just two or three days.
- Our guarantee income for the two hard ticket shows in Spain is £4,000 in total.Every penny of which contributes to the expense of the tour bus, per diems, accommodation and so on.
– Ross Patel an artist manager and founder and CEO of Whole Entertainment. Find out more here. Elder Island are a Bristol-based band. There second album Static Swimming was released in May 2021. Listen to them here.Back to news