Key information

You can help Save Music

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. This means that freedom of movement – which gives British musicians the right to work across Europe without the need for a visa – may end.

If British musicians cannot work easily in the EU, this will damage the UK’s cultural influence and threaten our world-class music industry.

The UK’s globally-dominant music industry contributes £4.4 billion a year to the UK economy. It forms a central part of our creative industries which, valued at £92 billion a year to the UK economy, are worth more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences, oil and gas industries combined.

Musicians and Brexit

Research from the ISM found that:

  • More than 40% of musicians have noticed an impact on their work as a result of Brexit. (Up from 26% in 2017 and 19% in 2016).
  • 39% of musicians travel to the EU more than five times a year. 12% travel to the EU more than 20 times a year.
  • More than one in eight performers had less than seven days’ notice between being offered work and having to take it.

Why do visas damage musicians’ work?

  • More than a third of musicians told the ISM that they had experienced difficulties with visas when travelling outside the EU. In fact, of those experiencing difficulties, 79% of those identified visas as the source of those difficulties.
  • The purely financial cost is significant, and whilst employers and engagers often cover the visa costs, 33% of musicians still spent more than £300 a year on securing visas to work (5% of musicians spent more than £1,000 a year).
  • But this is not just about the obvious financial costs: 15% of UK musicians have lost a job opportunity because of problems with visas.

How can we Save Music?

If freedom of movement isn’t maintained for musicians, then we need a two year work visa. This would allow British musicians to collaborate with European musicians and perform for European audiences without needing to organise a visa for every trip they make.

Given that musicians’ work in Europe can often be organised at very short notice, a visa that is valid for two years is vital. Musicians will lose work if they need to have a visa application processed for every trip they make.

Music is at risk and we need you to take action

Write to your MP and tell them how important it is that freedom of movement is maintained for musicians after Brexit. Tell them that if freedom of movement isn’t maintained, musicians need a two year work visa so that they can continue to work in Europe. You can use our template letter or write your own.