BREXIT // UK artists can no longer tour EU under either Brexit scenario and vice versa

If you’re a musician of any kind, you will no longer be able to travel to any EU state to tour.
Posted 04.02.2019 09:03am Updated 10.03.2019 10:13am



UK Music

As it stands, the UK is still set to leave the European Union on March 29th, 2019. As Theresa May continues to blindly and ignorantly attempt to force the EU into renegotiating the only Brexit deal we have, many are starting to realize the devastating effects of Brexit.

Hundreds of corporations are now leaving the UK and moving their headquarters to Amsterdam which means the UK is losing billions of pounds worth of trade and economic stability every single day.

Although the botched deal we do have is very unlikely to ever be accepted by parliament, even if it is, the deal does not set out one single guideline or stipulation for any UK citizen wanting to work or live in any of the EU member states. You might be thinking “But there has to be at least something in place, right?”, wrong.

The withdrawal deal, as it stands, simply sets out a few guidelines for people that currently live and work in the EU. It says nothing about the future of working permits, permissions or otherwise for ANYONE that wants to work in the EU, or for any EU citizen wanting to work in the UK. In the case of NO DEAL BREXIT, this means even people working and living in the EU or UK could have to return to their home countries.

In the case of a no deal brexit, if you’re a musician of any kind, you will no longer be able to travel to any EU state to work, tour, or play any form of concert, venue, small venue gig anywhere. Even if you’re in an unsigned punk band, you will not be able to just hop on a plane and play anywhere you wish.

Even if the current deal is accepted, the UK government has made absolutely no comment, or indication on the effect this will have following the transition period that allows UK citizens the right to continue to live and work in other EU countries up until 2020.

Anything can happen during this transition period, and the chances of a conservative government giving priority to the creative industry is about as likely as Theresa May winning a dance off.

There is also no telling what individual rules and laws the EU will set against UK citizens in terms of working abroad. Some people assume that it will be a simple case of applying for a visa, however, implementing a visa system can take years to achieve.

If a no deal brexit happens, chances are you will simply not be able to tour the EU until an agreement has been made, which could take years.

Why can my band no longer play in the EU after Brexit?
Currently, all countries within the EU have an agreement where any citizen of any EU country can travel to any other EU country and work there without the need for a visa, permit, or special license. After Brexit, regardless of the current deal being accepted or a NO DEAL, there is absolutely ZERO agreement in place as to how, or even if, any UK or EU citizen is allowed to travel and work freely in any UK or EU state after either March 29th, or the transtion period.

What will happen if there is a no deal brexit and we have tour dates booked?
Again, at the moment, there is no arrangement in place between the UK and the EU for musicians, road crew, tour managers etc. You might even get stopped at the UK border before leaving the country if you’re thinking about getting on a ferry.

Once you get to the EU country you’re tour starts in, they may not even allow you to enter. Without any legal, or temporary agreement in place for musicians, it’s down to each individual European state, and their border security.

This means even if you were from the UK, and offered a job in say Germany, you cannot accept it as there is literally no government law or legislation in either country covering this agreement.

What will happen if the current deal is passed on 12th March 2019 and we have tour dates booked?
The same as above

So what’s going to happen?
The simple answer is, literally no one knows. In order for any citizen from the UK to work in the EU or vice versa after Brexit, these countries must arrange new agreements and this could take years. This essentially means an absolute ban on any artist or band being allowed to play the UK from EU or the EU from the UK.

Will my band have to apply for a visa to play in the EU and vice versa?
Most likely. If you look at a country like the United States, this can be a nightmare. If you’re an artist wishing to play the United States, you need to apply for Artist/Entertainment Visa, also known as O, P and B Visas. It can take several weeks or even months to apply for this visa and for it to be processed for the USA. Imagine the nightmare of having to do this to play in the EU. It could also cost you a hefty processing fee.

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is calling on Government and Parliament to introduce a European Union (EU) touring visa for musicians working in the EU post-Brexit. However, nothing has been agreed.

The Brexit negotiations are going to be lengthy and complex, and there are many potential risks for musicians. - Horace Trubridge, Musicians Union General Secretary-Elect

Read the full press release from the Musicians Union fighting for the Rights of UK artists.

Also, the Musicians Union, an organization in the UK which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the British music business, have been calling for touring visas for musicians. They have been fighting hard to protect the rights of UK musicians, however, in the case of either no deal or the botched deal, the UK still needs to negotiate new deals for musicians which could take years.

The only thing that would secure touring rights for UK artists after March 29th 2019 would be a temporary agreement, which, considering the UK will have to arrange 1000’s of new agreements with the EU regarding business and law, musicians are likely to be placed on the bottom of the pile.

Or, obviously we all come to our senses and don’t leave the EU.


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