UK Music Calls for EU Touring Passports for Musicians

Chief Executive of UK Music, Michael Dugher. Image Credit: BBC
Scarlett Di Maio
| September 26, 2017

UK Music has called for an EU ‘touring passport’ to ensure visa-free travel is available to musicians post-Brexit.

In an article penned for The Huffington Post, Former Labour MP and current Chief Executive of UK Music, Michael Dugher, calls for the British government to end “uncertainty and lack of clarity” and outlines why Brexit has the potential to be a significant threat to the British music industry, in particular touring musicians and crews.

“It’s true that leaving the EU may open the door to new trade deals and could unlock barriers in established markets like the US. But the current uncertainty and lack of clarity about the government’s Brexit plans threatens our success. It means some investment opportunities are on hold and long-term planning is seriously hampered.”

Dugher claims that a single EU-wide live music ‘touring passport’ will avoid musicians being burdened with new costs, restrictions and bureaucracy during the Brexit transition.

“At present, there are no travel restrictions for UK artists performing in the EU. This means artists can play a gig in Amsterdam one night and then simply travel to Paris for a concert the next with no associated costs, red tape or other financial burdens.”

“It is a different story for artists and musicians from outside the European Union. For example, France requires work permits for performances by artists from non-EU countries. These can only be acquired following a lengthy and complex process administered by French promoters. For UK artists, who are used to short-term visits, this would be a major and costly change.”

UK Music is a lobbying group and industry-funded body representing the collective interests of the recorded, published and live arms of the British Music Industry.

On 18 September UK Music held an event at the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth, where discussions were held surrounding the potential impact of Brexit on the UK music industry and yesterday they presented a panel on Brexit at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

Last week UK Music also released their Measuring Music  2017 report, which provides valuable insight into how much the music industry contributes to the UK economy. You can download the report here.

Brexit happens on 29 March, 2019.

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