LIVE, the industry body that represents the UK's live music sector, is calling for a transitional support package to help the industry overcome the challenges presented by Brexit.
After a devastating year of Covid-19 closures, the live music industry is now facing up the additional hurdle of costly and bureaucratic visa arrangements for EU tours.
Touring artists and other creative sectors were not covered in the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement – an issue that Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week pledged to fix.
As access to the European market is essential for live music touring, LIVE said the lack of an agreement places the industry at significant risk.
The UK government has announced that it plans to create a UK Cultural Export Office. But while LIVE supports this longer-term proposal, the trade body stressed that it will not help the live music industry with the challenges it faces now.
LIVE's Transitional Support Package (TSP) sets out the measures the government can implement now to mitigate the disruption caused by Brexit, including:
1. Financial support to mitigate additional costs from new arrangements with the EU, and increased support for existing successful programmes.
2. Research to explore the issues faced by the live music sector.
3. Accurate information available online and through an app so that new and emerging artists can easily access the information they need to plan EU tours.
4. Expert advice for anyone involved in live touring delivered by telephone, email and app.
5. Lobbying and negotiation to achieve clarity and work towards a resolution to these issues.
Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, said: "European tours are absolutely fundamental to the success of the UK live music industry. After a devastating year, it's essential that we are not now shut out from our most important international market. LIVE is calling for a Transitional Support Package to provide the industry with the support it needs at this crucial time."
Craig Stanley, chair of LIVE Touring, the group tasked with the industry's response to Brexit, said: "LIVE's Transitional Support Package is designed to provide government with a clear template of measures that we urgently need to safeguard the UK live music industry, particularly the new and emerging talent most likely to be hardest hit by the new regulations. We are actively involved in conversations with the government about the TSP and we are pleased that they have recognised the importance of supporting the industry through this transition."
More detail on the Transitional Support Package (TSP) can be found on LIVE's website.
While calling for the TSP, LIVE continues to seek the return of frictionless, cost-free arrangements for short-term paid work across EU27 member states.