23.06.2021: UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, along with stars like Radiohead and Annie Lennox, have joined the Let The Music Move campaign, which is asking the Government to reduce the costs and red tape of musicians touring and working in Europe.
The Let The Music Move campaign is urging the Government to act now to mitigate the slew of Brexit-related expenditure, restrictions and bureaucracy which is making EU touring unviable and threatens the future success of British music.
UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said:
“European touring is crucial to thousands of British musicians and crew, and the immense challenges they now face need urgent attention. The #LetTheMusicMove campaign has fantastic support and shows how united and determined our sector is to resolve this problem.
“The Government has shown with their recent trade deal with Australia that visa barriers can be eased and trade given a crucial boost where there is enough will and political determination.
“It is vital that the Government now shows the same political will in its talks with EU member states to support our world-leading industry which contributes £5.8 billion to the UK economy, £2.9 billion in exports and supports around 200,000 jobs.”
The campaign is backed by more than 200 artists, including The Chemical Brothers, New Order, Biffy Clyro, Skunk Anansie, Wolf Alice, IDLES, Poppy Ajudha, Anna Calvi, Everything Everything, Graeme Park, Bob Geldof, Editors, Mark Knopfler, Two Door Cinema Club, Mr Scruff, Kelli-Leigh, Ward Thomas, Rick Astley, Ghostpoet, Midge Ure, Glasvegas, Anna Meredith, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Nina Nesbitt, Keane, Erland Cooper, Matthew Herbert, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, Blur’s David Rowntree, Gilles Peterson, Jack Garratt, Dave Okumu, Bill Ryder-Jones, Peggy Seeger, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and many, many others.
Alongside the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, such additional costs and red tape will put future European touring in jeopardy – particularly for upcoming artists looking to build and expand their audiences. Last week, new consumer research from UK Music indicated that the UK public are not doing enough to address issues.
Under new post-Brexit rules:
- UK touring vehicles will be limited to only three stops in Europe before having to return home
- UK musicians will require an onerous goods passport (a “carnet”) in order to tour Europe, including a bond for their instruments and equipment
- Those planning to perform in Spain, the UK’s second biggest touring market, face an unprecedented burden of work permits, paperwork and travel costs making many shows and festival performances unviable
#LetTheMusicMove launches the same day that 50 UK music artists sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting that the UK Government urgently engage with the EU and its member states to ease the burden of seeking permissions each time artists and their teams wish to perform in EU countries.
More information can be found on the campaign website here, with artists being encouraged to sign up and show their support.
Earlier this month, Elton John wrote to MPs on the DCMS Committee outlining how post-Brexit restrictions on touring the EU were a “looming catastrophe” for the UK’s music sector. This follows a petition by freelancer Tim Brennan, as part of the Carry on Touring campaign, calling for a Europe-wide, visa-free work permit for touring professionals and artists that attracted more than 286,000 signatures.
Backed by a growing cross-section of the UK music industry, including the umbrella bodies LIVE and UK Music, #LetTheMusicMove is now calling on Government to deliver four immediate actions to help avoid an impending crisis:
- An urgent Transitional Support Package to cover new and additional costs for touring artists and crews in the EU
- Measures to overcome restrictive “cabotage” rules on UK vehicles touring Europe
- A viable long-term plan for UK artists and crew to continue working in all EU-27 countries, without costly permits and bureaucracy
- To ensure European artists have reciprocal freedoms and access to perform at UK venues and festivals