Musicians left high and dry by Brexit deal

January 21, 2021 8:24 PM


Newcastle City HallLiam Gallagher, Sir Elton John and Bob Geldof have called on the Government to make it easier for musicians to tour around Europe. More than 170 musicians have urged Ministers to organise paperwork-free travel in Europe for artists on tour.

The Brexit deal makes it extremely difficult for touring artists because they now need a costly work permit and face a mountain of paperwork for their equipment.

The extra costs will make many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians.


Former international music producer and Newcastle Liberal Democrats Cllr Robin Ashby, said:

"Predictably the government is trying to blame the EU, but the fact remains that when the going got tough during the talks on the trade deal, Tory ministers just ducked for cover and hoped the problem would go away.

"As a result, our creative artists have been left high and dry, including musicians, dancers, actors and their many support staff who together with the rest of the creative industries generate over £100 billion a year to our economy. They were sacrificed in a botched negotiation, just like our fishermen, our farmers, and our crucial service industries.

"The artists who signed this letter are either furious or fearful for the future of their business, or both. If the Conservative Government cares about these industries and the economy, they must get back around the negotiating table and get this sorted pronto."

Newcastle Liberal Democrats spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport Cllr Ali Avaei added:

"The creative arts sector is a massive success story for the UK economy. It's already in dire trouble because of Covid and this 'friendly fire' assault on its viability from our own government could be the last straw for many of our talented performers and backup staff.

"Artists and crews will need to apply for work permits and other detailed paperwork for many of the countries they visit. This could make many tours unviable, particularly for younger, upcoming artists who don't have big teams and big money behind them.

"The same applies to EU-based artists wishing to perform in the UK. That means disruption not only to seeing our favourite foreign bands and orchestras but income to festivals and all the benefits of creative co-operation too. Reciprocity is good for Britain and should not be holding back a deal for artists."

The signatories in full

Roger Waters; Sir Simon Rattle; Dame Sarah Connolly; Sir George Benjamin; Sir Harrison Birtwistle; Nicola Benedetti; Steven Isserlis; Stephen Hough; Sir András Schiff; Judith Weir; Roderick Williams; Amanda Roocroft; Amelia Freedman; Nash Ensemble; Anna Meredith; Anna Patalong; Benjamin Baker; Bond Quartet; Brindley Sherratt; Professor Catherine Martin; Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Catriona Price; Chi-chi Nwanoku; Chris Stark, Christian Curnyn; Claudia Huckle; Dr Mark Taylor; Elizabeth Wallfisch; Gabriella Swallow; Gina McCormack; Gregory Walmsley; Harry Bicket; Hilary Summers; Jeremy Huw Williams; Jess Gillam; Joseph Middleton; Kate Royal; Lauma Skride; Levon Chilingirian; Mahaliah Edwards; Martyn Brabbins; Michael Chance; Miloš Karadaglić; Nicholas Collon; Nicky Spence; Paul Cassidy; Peter Robinson; Prof Nicholas Daniel; Professor Julian Anderson; Professor Julian Lloyd Webber; Professor Peter Fribbins; Rakhvinder Singh; Raphael Wallfisch; Rosa Mannion; Ruth Rogers; Sean Shibe; Sheku Kanneh-Mason; Tasmin Little; the Kanneh-Mason family; Sir Elton John; Ed Sheeran; Roger Daltrey; Bob Geldof; Midge Ure; Sting; Robert Plant; Peter Gabriel; Rag'n'Bone Man; Nick Mason; Aitch; Alex Kapranos; Beabadoobee; Bicep; Brett Anderson; Brian Eno; Brian May; Bryan Adams; Captain Sensible; Charlie Burchill; Chris Difford; Danny McNamara; Dave Stewart; Fryars; Gary Kemp; Gary Numan; Glass Animals; Grace Carter; Hayden Thorpe; Hot Chip; Hugh Cornwell; Iron Maiden; Jayda G; Jim Kerr; Joss Stone; Jungle; Kasai; Kero Kero Bonito; Kim Wilde; King Krule; LA Priest; Liam Gallagher; Mark King; Mick Hucknell; Nik Kershaw; Priya Ragu & Japhna Gold; Radiohead; Rick Wakeman; Roger Taylor; Ross From Friends; Rusty Egan Visage; Sex Pistols; SG Lewis; Simian Mobile Disco; SK Shlomo; Steve Norman; Superorganism; Terry Britten; The 1975; The Darkness; Will Young; Dame Evelyn Glennie; Julia Haferkorn; David Francis; Karine Polwart; Peewee Ellis; John J. Williamson; Sam Leak; Michael Eavis; Emily Eavis; John Gilhooly; Paul Mandry; Fielding Hope, James Clutton; Deborah Annetts; James Ainscough; Alasdair Tait; Annabella Coldrick; Ashutosh Khandekar; Atlas Management; Barbara Osborne; Carol Main; Carole Tongue; Claire Owen; Daniel Miller; Danny Keir; David Martin; David Taylor; Donagh Collins; Dr Aoife Monks; Felix Howard; Graham Sheffield; Howard Goodall; James McAulay; John Gidding; Keith Harris; Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp; Lucy Heyman; Mary-Alice Stack; Patrick Woodroffe; Professor Chris Collins; Rod Smallwood; Sandra Schembri; Sir David Bell; Tom Travis; Vick Bain