British artists haven’t been thinking about touring Europe this year, with Covid-19 having put paid to live music across the continent. But as hopes rise that a vaccine could bring concerts back in 2021, the British industry is being reminded that the UK is due to complete its exit (‘Brexit’) from the European Union at the start of the year. And with the British government still locked in testy negotiations with the EU, there could be some unpleasant costs and red tape for musicians trying to play shows in Europe next year.
Composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall summarised them yesterday in a Twitter thread that’s getting widely shared within the British music industry. “Think of it as a kind of Bad News Advent calendar,” he wrote, before outlining the requirements for work visas, taxation, ‘carnet’ documents for instruments, haulage licences for vans, and the suggestion that the British government and its negotiators have so far failed to address these issues because “are WAY more concerned about fishing, an industry over ONE HUNDRED TIMES smaller than the Creative sector”. Ouch.