The UK music industry has hailed the Spanish government’s decision to remove post-Brexit visa requirements for UK artists on short-term tours, but warned that significant issues remain that will make many tours ‘impossible’.
Spain’s announcement means UK musicians and their team will no longer need visas for engagements under 90 days, a policy change that came after months of lobbying by business groups on both sides .
UK Music organization, which described visa requirements as “costly and bureaucratic barriers that threatened the industry’s talent pool”, called the move a “big win”.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, managing director of UK Music, said the decision was a first step in the right direction, but added: “The lifting of visa restrictions by the Spanish government is an extremely welcome move,” he said. -he declares. “However, it is important to remember that major problems remain, in particular cabotage [the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a foreign operator], which makes many visits impossible.
“We will continue to press the government here and with EU countries to remove any costly and bureaucratic restrictions that remain when it comes to visiting the EU.”
He added: “It is vital to our economy and our exports that musicians and teams can tour freely, grow their fan base and share the best of British music across Europe and the rest of the world.”
During Brexit negotiations, the UK government has been accused of treating the cultural industries after the fact by failing to negotiate visa-free travel and EU-wide work permits for the musicians and the team.
European festival promoters have previously said they will likely book fewer acts in the UK due to visa costs, which would deal a blow to teams still reeling from the impact of the pandemic on the industry.
Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary, said the decision was “very good news”. “We have worked closely with the Spanish government to facilitate the tours – and they just confirmed that musicians no longer need a visa to go on tour in the short term,” she said. “Twenty-one Member States now offer visa-free and permit-free itineraries for touring artists. There are still six years left.