IMPALA and AIM call on UK and EU officials to regroup to ensure visa-free touring across Europe

London/ Brussels, 13th January 2021,

As the realities of restriction of movement for musicians and crews between the UK and the EU start to become apparent, there have been accusations from both sides that negotiators rejected reasonable arrangements to facilitate touring. 

As a result, both the UK and the EU are now left with arguably the least desirable outcome despite both sides professing the importance of musicians and crew to continue to be able to work and tour easily, post-Brexit. Currently a touring party from the UK working in the EU faces more administrative costs and barriers than others from ‘third countries’, which doesn’t seem to fit the stated intention of close partnership with our nearest neighbours. 

AIM is calling for the two sides to speedily return to the negotiating table to resolve the situation in a way that is beneficial for the world-leading music sectors of the UK and EU so that, as touring restarts, the situation is resolved. 

AIM is in regular contact with Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) and is currently liaising with officials to try to guide the situation towards a more advantageous solution. At the same time, IMPALA is liaising with the European Commission in Brussels. In the interim, AIM will work together with DCMS to produce a country-by-country guide of accurate and practical information to help musicians and crews who travel, work and tour around Europe. This will sit alongside AIM’s own targeted Brexit FAQ available to its members covering the full range of advice and new rules and regulations on operating a music business in the post-Brexit landscape. 

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “Much about Brexit is not as the UK music industry wanted and there are, inevitably, complexities to the UK’s new relationship with the EU. However, it is essential that we focus on real issues where they arise, such as work permits, VAT and data, and work with Government and EU counterparts to fix them. We must remain disciplined and focussed to ensure the music industry makes the most of every opportunity in spite of these problematic areas whilst we continue to push for a better outcome.” 

Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA said: “IMPALA has asked the EU what happened here, emphasising that a proper and straightforward visa arrangement going both ways is crucial for our members in both the UK and EU countries. Our main focus is to help table solutions that take us forward. We are hopeful that it will still be possible on issues like this where there is a distinct shared interest.” 

Andy Corrigan, Founder, Viva La Visa said: “It’s sad that the UK government and the EU appear not to have taken the opportunity to negotiate a deal for touring musicians and the creative sector in general, and have left us to try and work out for ourselves how the regulations impact on touring. The creative industries are resilient and resourceful and will find ways around whatever obstacles are put in our way, but it is often the smaller companies and artists who suffer most.” 

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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