UK musicians and performers allowed to tour in 19 EU member states

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The long-running campaign by British musicians and performers who were unable to perform visa-free in the European Union after Brexit finally saw some success with 19 EU countries allowing short-term tours without visas or travel permits. job.

“As a government, we have spoken to every EU member state about the issues our creative and cultural industries face when considering touring Europe,” the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture said on Wednesday. culture, media and sports (DCMS). . “Based on these discussions, 19 member states have confirmed that UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term touring.”

These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

“We are now actively engaging with other EU member states that do not allow visas and free tours, and call on them to align their provisions with the generous rules in the UK, which allow touring artists and support staff to come to the UK for up to three months without a visa,” the statement added. “Formal demarches via DCMS officials and ministers have been made to Spain, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Cyprus.”

The development comes after months of campaigning by prominent music industry stalwarts including Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Bob Geldof, Sting, Nicola Benedetti and the Kanneh-Mason family, as well as various entertainment unions, which urged the British government to restore Europe painlessly. touring process they used to enjoy before Brexit.

“After months of behind-the-scenes work by entertainment unions and campaign groups, today’s announcement is a belated but welcome first step. Equity led the work with DCMS and the Department for International Trade to get the right deal for our members working in the EU after Brexit, and today’s announcement is necessary but not sufficient to get where we need to be,” said Paul W. Fleming, General Secretary of the UK Creative Industries Union Equity.

“It is particularly welcome that some of the largest European countries and those with the most complex work permit regimes are included,” Fleming added. “We are still awaiting a country-by-country breakdown of how this will work in practice, appropriate definitions of short-term touring and implications on backlogs and cabotage for small-scale productions, and urge the government to publish this detail immediately.”

The music industry will be watching closely the issue of cabotage – the movement of goods between countries – as music touring involves large amounts of equipment crossing borders. Under current cabotage rules, UK carriers are allowed to make a first stopover in the EU, then a maximum of two more within seven days, before having to return home.

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