UK Government Denies Claims They Rejected EU's Offer Of Visa-Free Tours For Musicians

UK Government Denies Claims They Rejected EU's Offer Of Visa-Free Tours For Musicians

January 13, 2021

Last week a story emerged that the British government had rejected a deal from the EU that would allow musicians to perform in countries who are members of the EU without a visa. However, those claims have since been denied by the government.

In late 2020, the post-Brexit trade deal agreed with the EU would enable some professionals to continue travelling for business-related matters without the requirement of a visa. It has become apparent that musicians and their teams were not included in this deal, which is likely to result in a significant rise in the cost of touring for musicians and DJs alike.

A report in the Independent reveals that a "standard" proposal that would allow artists to tour without the need of a visa, and enter EU countries for trips under 90 days was turned down according to an unspecified source. "It is usually in our agreements with third countries, that [work] visa are not required for musicians," an EU source revealed to the Independent. "We tried to include it, but the UK said no".

A spokesperson from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has refuted claims of the EU source, saying in a statement: "This story is incorrect and misleading speculation from anonymous EU sources. The UK pushed for a more ambitious agreement with the EU on the temporary movement of business travellers, which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU."

Public opinion on the matter is very clear, as a petition for the UK government to negotiate a new visa-free cultural work permit for touring professionals amassed a whopping 250,000 signatures. It is imperative that a deal between the British government and the EU can be secured swiftly; thanks to the impact of COVID-19, the music industry has struggled enough as it is.

Words: Ian Opolot
Photography: Annika Haas (Wikicommons)