Study finds that UK musicians booked to play European festivals has fallen by 45% post-Brexit

“It’s on tour that many musicians gain the formative experiences and audiences they need to take off”.


Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

A study has revealed that the number of British bands booked to play European festivals post-Brexit has fallen by almost half, compared to 2017-2019.

The figures, which were published by the internationalist campaign group Best For Britain, have raised concerns about the impact that Brexit is having on the next generation of British musicians.

These statistics have been published ahead of a meeting of the cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission to take evidence of the post-Brexit challenges facing the UK music and travel industries during the first festival and holiday season without COVID restrictions.

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best For Britain has said in a statement that “The Beatles famously made their name in Europe and it’s on tour that many musicians gain the formative experiences and audiences they need to take off.

“With their dud Brexit deal, our lame duck Government has not only robbed emerging British talent of these opportunities abroad, but has also made international acts think twice before including Glasgow or London in their European tours.”

Many high profile artists such as Elton John and Biffy Clyro have previously called on the government to address these issues that are facing musicians following Brexit.

The harsh realities of British bands touring post-Brexit are unfortunately not new to UK-based musicians, presented by The Subways’ guitarist Billy Lunn in an op-ed piece in The Independent, where he shared his throughs about the little-reported difficulties that touring bands have suffered since the UK left the EU.

Brexit and the end of free movement of people and goods between the UK and the EU has introduced the carnet system, which now means that bands are obligated to return with the exact gear they left with, right down to the serial numbers.

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