Almost 50 per cent of UK musicians are working less in Europe since Brexit, according to a new report.
The new Paying The Price report comes from the Independent Society of Musicians, and surveyed over 400 musicians.
47.4 per cent of those surveyed said they had worked less in the EU after Brexit went through, with 27.8 per cent having no work on the continent at all.
40 per cent had work cancelled since January 1, 2021, with almost as many (39 per cent) having to turn down planned work.
Independent Society of Musicians boss Deborah Annetts said of the findings: “UK music is a great success story and we are rightly proud of it. The Chancellor has correctly identified the creative industries as a potential growth market. However, as Paying the price shows, the government has been asleep on the job. It could have tackled many of the issues facing the music sector by itself and made Brexit work. It chose not to.
“This report provides a pathway to make Brexit work for music, and most of the recommendations would not require renegotiating the TCA.”
She added: “Brexit should never have meant that musicians cannot share their talent freely with our closest neighbours. This damages our country, our soft power and our precious creative talent pipeline. Music is worth £5.8billion to the UK economy and the wider creative industries are worth £116billion. We call on the government to take action and make Brexit work for the wellbeing of musicians and our economy.
“I thank everyone who took the time to share their experiences with the ISM. We will continue to campaign for improvements ahead of the next general election and beyond.”
Back in 2021, the UK music industry spoke out together on how they had essentially been handed a “No Deal Brexit” when the government failed to negotiate visa-free travel and Europe-wide work permits for musicians and crew.
As a result, artists attempting to hit the road again after COVID found themselves on the predicted “rocky road” for the first summer of European touring after Britain left the EU – finding that the complications of Brexit are “strangling the next generation of UK talent in the cradle”.
The government were then warned that musicians and crew “could find themselves unemployed en masse”, after a hearing at the House Of The Lords revealed the damage already being caused by Brexit on those wishing to tour Europe.
In an op-ed message penned for NME last summer, Wolf Alice guitarist Joff Oddie wrote of his fears that changes brought about by Brexit “are going to seriously damage the prospects of so many new acts, who have already been held back by two years of not being able to tour due to the pandemic”.
“We cannot expect to retain our rich musical culture and heritage if we fail to support both upcoming and established artists,” wrote Oddie. “We need a new deal for touring from the Government now. It is time to tear down the barriers artists are facing touring the EU. It is time to let the music move!”