UK strikes visa-free touring deal with Romania

12 Oct 2021

Romania has been added to the list of EU countries that UK performers can tour in sans visa.

As has become customary, DCMS concealed the actual size of the achievement, updating an August announcement to say visa-free touring is possible in 20 EU countries.

In fact, arrangements were already in place with 19 of those countries two months ago. Talks with Spain, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus are ongoing - and in some cases have been since the UK left the EU.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) said Tuesday's announcement gave "a misleading impression about the extent to which work in these countries will now be possible".

It called on Government to clarify what kinds of work are allowed for how long in each of the 20 countries.

DCMS says: "Discussions with these countries are ongoing, and we are also working with the sector to amplify each other’s lobbying efforts."

International partnerships fund 'not a replacement Creative Europe'

06 Oct 2021

The pilot responds to the UK's withdrawal from Creative Europe and prioritises European partners but is "not in the same ball park" as the EU scheme.

'Splitter vans' permitted for EU touring artists, DfT says

29 Sep 2021

British musicians touring the EU can now travel in the same vehicle as their equipment.

The Department of Transport has confirmed that so-called 'splitter vans' do not fall under the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), meaning individual EU states make their own rules.

The Musicians' Union (MU) and Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), which have been lobbying for this arrangement, are delighted.

The TCA said people and equipment could not be transported in the same vehicle - "a disaster for touring musicians, particularly at grassroots level", the MU says.

National Organiser for Live Performance Dave Webster, said this is a relief and "a major step forward".

“A ban on splitter vans would have made European touring almost impossible for small to medium scale bands, especially given the costs of carnets, visas, work permits and Covid testing they are already bearing."

ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said a visa waiver agreement is needed to remove the red tape.

"It’s great that on this occasion the industries’ campaigning work has paid off, but there is much more the Government should be doing."

Nadine Dorries reads from the same script

16 Sep 2021

The new Culture Secretary's pro-Brexit stance and history of controversy have the left-leaning arts sector worried.

Scottish Government pushes for EU visa-free touring

31 Aug 2021

Scottish Culture Secretary Angus Robertson has urged the UK Government to negotiate visa-free travel for the creative industry by the end of the year.

In a letter addressed to Oliver Dowden, Robertson calls for cooperation between the two Governments to “minimise barriers to recovery”.

He adds that touring visas and work permits are creating “insurmountable obstacles” for artists.

“Ultimately this could jeopardise the ability of some to continue working in the sector altogether”.

The letter follows a UK Government announcement that 19 EU countries have agreed to short term visa-free tours, an update condemned by music industry leaders as “nothing new”.

Brexit is erasing Northern Irish arts, report warns

27 Aug 2021

Northern Ireland's arts sector is feeling the effects of Brexit more than most.

A report by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) warns the country's arts and artists are becoming "less visible" internationally as companies struggle to tour, British arts suppliers are unwilling to ship to Northern Ireland and the small sector's voice is lost in cross-national negotiations.

It notes "anecdotal evidence" that arts organisations with the means to do so are establishing themselves in the Republic of Ireland to circumvent some of these issues and remain eligible for EU funding.

But ACNI says it has no way of substantiating how many organisations might be doing this - or whether they are at all. 

"The most we can say is that this is potentially more likely as a consequence of Brexit and the third party status of Northern Ireland-based arts and culture organisations.

"Creative Europe funding, in particular, has been an important source of funding for a number of organisations in Northern Ireland – especially touring and production organisations who will now find it more difficult to form creative partnerships across Europe.  This will impact on the diversity of product audiences will be exposed to and participants will be able to engage in."


£34.9bn needed for UK creative industries to 'bounce back' by 2025

22 Jul 2021

New modelling from Oxford Economics says the country's creative sectors can more than recover from the loss of 100,000 jobs with the right investment.

The essence of a festival is congregation

My Light Shines on laser beams
09 Jun 2021

With artists no longer able to travel freely across Europe post-Brexit, and with no sign of the Covid pandemic abating, Francesca Hegyi explores the challenges of trying to stage an international festival in the UK.

Europe is still open to artists

Project of a face on a blue wall
25 May 2021

With long experience of working in Europe, Phillip Parr reminds us that, even in a post-Brexit world, there are still plenty of opportunities for artists. You just need to know where to look.

'Major flaws' in ministers' post-Brexit touring claims

19 May 2021

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says "some paid touring" is possible in 17 of 27 EU member states as renewed campaigns for a bloc-level deal seek legal advice.

Visa fast track only for elite of the elite

06 May 2021

Home Secretary Priti Patel says the system aims to attract "the best and brightest", but there are fewer options for stars beyond the screen and stage.

Festival UK 2022 rejects critics' claims of nationalism

01 Apr 2021

Critics call Festival UK 2022 "nationalistic imperialism" and "a showcase for the Government". The creatives involved say that couldn't be further from the truth.

‘Aftershock’ – orchestras preparing for an uncertain future

31 Mar 2021

The combined effect of Covid and Brexit will make significant dents in the financial viability of the orchestral sector, in spite of Government support so far. Mark Pemberton considers the challenges ahead. 

Cabotage crisis: Orchestras may be forced to tour illegally

03 Mar 2021

The Association of British Orchestras says there are three options moving forward: a new deal with the EU, financial support from the Government, or touring against the law.

UK has three months to save touring, sector warns

16 Feb 2021

DCMS hopes to start discussions with individual EU states in the coming weeks, but industry figures say time is running out to find practical and affordable solutions.

Scottish organisations strive to stay in Creative Europe

12 Feb 2021

Leaving the influential programme in a time of crisis would be "a travesty" - and unnecessary for devolved nations, campaigners say.

Mounting pressure for touring visas ahead of UK-EU meeting

09 Feb 2021

The sector is not giving up on EU touring visas. But ideas as to what to do next differ.

Touring visa offer 'not compatible' with Brexit goals

19 Jan 2021

DCMS Minister Caroline Dinenage says the EU did not offer work permits and the Government is focussed on navigating the new landscape rather than negotiating.

Fury and disbelief over claims UK rejected visa-free touring

13 Jan 2021

Parliament will debate whether visa-free work permits should be renegotiated as the Government blames Brussels for rejecting its "ambitious" proposals.

Fears build over immigration rules for incoming artists

08 Jan 2021

Complex rules, higher costs and visa requirements are set to place new barriers to EU artists working in the UK, even for short-term contracts or single gigs. 


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