The newly launched Save Music campaign by the Incorporated Society of Musicians hopes to protect musicians post-Brexit by either maintaining their freedom of movement between countries or to introduce a special two-year working visa for them.
The UK based ISM recently introduced the “Musicians and Brexit” report that highlights concerns of the association’s 9,000 members and the campaign follows an EU Select Committee report that recommends the introduction of a multi-entry visa for musicians and other creative industries.
“For decades our musicians have had the right to travel freely across the EU, performing their music in numerous different countries to countless audiences,” ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts told IQ magazine. “For many musicians this has been of immense value in creating music, establishing their careers and keeping a roof over their heads.
“The ability to travel freely lies at the heart of creating music – music is universal and knows no boundaries. The very best music often comes from musicians from all walks of life coming together to collaborate.
“The House of Lords EU Select Committee report, published in July 2018, recognized the importance of freedom of movement for musicians and recommended a multi-entry visa enabling creatives, including musicians, to continue to work freely across the EU post-Brexit. We, along with many other music organisations, believe that a two-year visa is what is needed.
“And yet at the moment government does not seem to be able to differentiate between immigration and life as a touring musician. Instead they are suggesting an extension of the disastrous PPE [permitted paid engagement] which prevented so many musicians performing at Womad earlier this year. It cannot be underestimated the damage that will be done to the music we enjoy, and the music that is yet to be created, if we don’t get the two-year visa.
“That is the ISM has launched Save Music, a campaign calling on everyone – and not just musicians – to lobby their MP and endorse the two-year visa.”