19 EU countries agree to visa-free short-term touring for musicians

File photo of Sir Elton John, who campaigned for visa-free touring post-Brexit (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Wire)
2:53am, Thu 05 Aug 2021
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UK musicians and performers will be able to tour in a number of European countries without the need for a visa or work permit, the Government has announced.

New rules which came into force at the beginning of the year do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU and have prompted fears that touring artists will incur large fees in many of the countries they visit.

However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) said they have negotiated with 19 EU Member State countries to allow British musicians and performers to conduct short tours visa-free.

We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world

These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

The Government said talks are ongoing with remaining EU Member State countries, including Spain, Portugal and Greece, to align their arrangements with the UK’s, which allows touring performers and support staff to visit for up to three months without a visa.

DCMS said in a statement: “We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily.

“We recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry.

“We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.”

It comes after months of campaigning from musicians such as Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran on the issue of post-Brexit touring, with Sir Elton previously warning the rules threatened “a generation of talent”.

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