After a year of negotiations between the government and music industry officials, artists from the UK will now be able to tour visa-free around many countries in the EU without a work permit.
The government announced that 19 out of 27 EU member states would allow for this: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Britain’s departure from the European Union in December has left artists in limbo, with the Brexit deal struck up by the government meaning tight restrictions when touring.
Many UK-based musicians and artists were facing large fees when visiting certain countries in the EU and would have needed to purchase visas or work permits in order to perform shows.
Now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has stepped in to change this. Speaking to the government on the potential calamity that could be caused for the music industry, DCMS called for shorter-term tours visa-free.
A spokesperson for DCMS said, “We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.”
Last month, Brexit Minister David Frost said that it isn’t his responsibility to give these musicians the green light and allow them the freedom to tour.
The government are continuing to talk to DCMS and will potentially add more countries to the list in the coming months. Currently Spain - including the Balaerics and Ibiza - have not agreed to visa-free touring for artists.
The new rules will allow musicians to travel for up to 3 months without a visa. DCMS added, “we recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry.”
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter