ISM labels 'visa-free short term' touring announcement 'misleading' Jump to main content

ISM labels 'visa-free short term' touring announcement 'misleading'

The ISM has labelled a visa-free short term touring announcement from the DCMS ‘misleading’.

In an update on the .gov website on 12.10.2021, the DCMS claimed that ‘20 EU countries offer visa and work permit free routes for UK musicians and performers’. The ISM believes that this announcement gives a misleading impression about the extent to which work in these countries will now be possible without a visa or work permit. We have also called on the Government to urgently clarify what kinds of work and what time periods are permitted in each of the 20 countries listed in the statement.

We have been calling on the Government to negotiate a Visa Waiver Agreement to cover all creative professionals which would remove significant amounts of the costly and complex red-tape that currently exists.

ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said, ‘The creative industries are desperate for meaningful action from Government on touring. Unfortunately, that action has not come today. If artists were to believe they have visa-free short term touring access to 20 European states, then they would be very unprepared for the expensive and time-consuming red-tape that will face them in many countries across Europe.

This is the second time the DCMS have put out a misleading statement on touring the last time being on 4th August 2021. We understand that members of the House of Lords will be writing to DCMS about the misleading press release from August.

The ISM keeps an up to date ‘Visas and Work Permits in Europe Guide’ - which is a must-use resource for artists planning to tour in Europe. The guide is particularly important while the DCMS is putting out misleading statements like the one today.

If the DCMS really want to help the touring industry, they should negotiate a bespoke Visa Waiver Agreement with the EU, designate more CITES ports such as Eurostar and work to resolve the expensive red tape in important European markets such as Spain.