Saturday, November 21, 2020

No Deal Brexit: No Touring Artists

Do you want to see more of the likes of Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift, and less of your favourite Indie bands? Of course you don’t! But this may be the looming disaster that would be the result of a No Deal Brexit. In the shit show that is Brexit, it appears that every industry in the U.K. is to be affected. However, when focusing on the music and creative industries, a No Deal Brexit would shrink the entire industry and only privilege the very wealthy. 

As a result of a No Deal Brexit, the outcome could see many emerging artists priced out of travelling to Europe, and ultimately mean they cannot expand their fanbase, their brand, and most importantly they would not be able to share their music globally. Obviously with the help of streaming services it eases the process of developing yourself in different countries, but there is nothing quite like the intimacy of seeing a developing band in a small venue. 

Many artists and industry insiders have long feared that Brexit could prove prohibitive for many mid-tier bands wishing to tour the EU, thus creating a “glass ceiling” for developing acts. A “glass ceiling” is essentially an unseen barrier that affects the advancements in a given profession, it is a term mainly used for women and members of minorities, despite sharing similar talents and the same skills, the people at the top will always try to find a way to prohibit these members of society from advancing. In this instance, it would mean less of your favourite emerging indie bands, and more of that mind numbing chart nonsense.

Jeremy Pritchard, bassist of Everything Everything had his say on the potential crisis, when talking to NME he stated: “The glass ceiling is getting higher and higher all the time the more the prospect of a No Deal Brexit looms. There’s a huge swathe of artists in the lower to middle tier, which includes rising talent, my own band and loads that are more successful than us, where touring Europe just won’t be a viable option anymore.”

It’s not just the cost of going on tour that would affect artists and bands, which alone costs a substantial amount for musicians attempting to grow their name in an already difficult industry, there would be various extra added costs on top of this. There would be visa costs for every country visited, added transporting costs for instruments, equipment, and merchandise across borders, and extra staff to account for these extra payments. 

It’s not all bad though, the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have recently spoken with various creative industries and arts sector bodies and explained that they have acknowledged the potential risks that a No Deal Brexit would have on travelling artists, as they stated: “We are seeking a reciprocal agreement with the EU to allow UK citizens to undertake some business activities in the bloc without a work permit, on a short term basis.”

 It’s good news that they have noticed the potential problem that could arise, but a better suggestion would be to negotiate a Brexit deal, but the most ideal situation would be to scrap Brexit and run lovingly back to the EU. 

- Ben Broyd


Photo: Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images Images

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