#LetTheMusicMove campaign urges UK Government to act on post-Brexit EU touring

Five years on from the referendum vote on Brexit, more than 200 artists have joined the #LetTheMusicMove campaign which calls on the UK Government to reduce the costs and obstacles now facing UK musicians touring Europe.

Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers and Wolf Alice are among the musicians that have added their support to the artist-led music industry campaign which urges the the Government to address post-Brexit rules that will make it harder, or unfeasibly expensive, for musicians to tour in Europe.

The campaign is also backed by a range of music industry organisations including PPL, Musicians’ Union, LIVE (Live Music Industries and Entertainment), UK Music and the Featured Artists’ Coalition (FAC).

“The UK’s music industry is a success story,” said FAC CEO David Martin. “It contributes enormously to the economy and provides the country with unparalleled soft power, yet we have been dealt a no deal Brexit. Five years on from the referendum vote and six months after the deal was agreed, there has been scant progress from the Government to protect the artist businesses that fuel the industry. Touring is essential; it provides opportunities to build audiences, access new markets and develop careers, and it is this activity that supports our recorded music sector. It is time for the Government to fulfil the Prime Minister’s promises to “fix” the crisis facing Britain’s artists.”

The campaign is asking for an urgent Transitional Support Package to cover new costs for touring artists and crews in the EU, along with a plan for how UK artists and crews can continue to work in the EU in future without costly permits. 

It also calls on the Government to address restrictive new rules that limit UK vehicles to just three stops when touring in the EU. The campaign also seeks to streamline entry routes into the UK for international artists and their crews.

The #LetTheMusicMove campaign launches on the same day that 50 UK music artists sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging the Government to engage with the EU and its member states on post-Brexit rules for UK artists.

Blur’s David Rowntree said: “Blur played our first gig outside the UK in Rotterdam in February 1991. We just jumped on a ferry with no restrictions for us or our gear. That August we were back in the Netherlands, followed by dates in Germany, France and then on into a full European tour.  If we were starting out today trying to do the same, there would be a vast range of bureaucracy and costs, with different regimes in every country. We simply wouldn’t be able to afford it. The UK Government has to take this issue seriously and support touring artists. The future of British music is at stake.”

Skunk Anansie said: “EU touring and the need to get the right processes in place for simple and economical access to Europe is crucial at this time more than ever. It is the lifeblood of bands and artists, not just financially, but in order to expand their fanbase and deliver their art to a wider audience. EU touring also opens up the windows of touring on a global scale with surrounding countries and continents, with the knock-on effect of the impact that bands and artists have that tour there. We need action, we need support, we need access, and we need it now!”

Artists are encouraged to sign up and show their support.

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