Music charity Help Musicians are opening a new fund for artists who are being impacted by Brexit touring woes.
It will also be providing advice and services to artists and their teams, to ensure that they can have a smooth and as much of a low-cost experience as possible.
Today (March 29), the organisation has pledged £250,000 in financial support — with artists able to claim up to £5000 each towards “their plans to drive their careers forward and propel their forthcoming releases.”
As stated on the Help Musicians website, this money can go towards: "support to cover costs for touring expenses, such as session musician and crew fees, PR and marketing, content creation, merchandise, access to creative spaces, festival appearances, visas and insurance."
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Alongside the funding cost available, the charity will be broadening access to its Viva La Visa’s specialist international touring advice service, in hopes of being of use to artists impacted by the barriers put in place by Brexit.
The highly criticised Brexit deal presents “a whole set of problems” for touring musicians and their crew, former minister David Frost recently admitted.
The Viva La Visa scheme was created by the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union - and now with Help Musicians, the organisations will all be able to provide their members and those in need with up to 30-minutes of free, practical and legal advice about touring, visas, work permits and more. This is a free service that needs to be booked either over the phone or through email.
James Ainscough, Chief Executive at Help Musicians said: “It is vital that musicians start touring again, at home and abroad, to get back to live performance, grow their fanbase and earn much-needed income. Tours are costly and risky, so our £250k will support musicians who are ready to take the plunge and drive their careers forward.
"In addition, musicians now need extra support to arrange international tours because post-Brexit there is much complexity which can lead to career-ending consequences if the admin is not done right. Widening access to Viva La Visa’s service empowers musicians to make well-informed choices which should reduce risk, improve decision-making and increase confidence to tour internationally.
"I am very grateful to The ISM and The MU for allowing us to open up this service beyond their memberships – it demonstrates their commitment to seeing all musicians thrive. My plea to the government is to use the 18 months of cover that this service provides to negotiate and put in place all that is needed to ensure friction-free touring for musicians in the EU.
"The UK’s musicians have always been brilliant global ambassadors for our country and they deserve the easiest possible access to the global stage.”
For more information, visit the Help Musicians website here.
Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter