EU artists will require visas to perform in the UK from 2021

The news comes as a blow to musicians hoping for continued easy travel between the EU and UK.

EU artists will need a visa to perform in the UK after the Brexit transition period ends, the Home Office said in a policy statement published this Tuesday (19 February). Currently, artists and entertainers can travel freely to and from the EU and UK, but this freedom of movement will be halted in December as Brexit dawns near. From 1 January 2021, like their non-EU peers, EU artists will require a Tier 5 visa to perform in the UK. Tier 5 visas are limited to a 6 month period and cost £244, applicants will also need to prove they have at least £945 in savings when applying.

The news comes despite comments from then-Culture Minister, Nigel Adams who said in an interview with Music Week last month: “Touring is absolutely the lifeblood of the industry and we recognise the importance of the continued ease of movement of musicians, equipment and merchandise once we’ve left the EU.”

In 2018, Beggar’s Group, which owns Rough Trade, XL Recordings and 4AD, issued a warning on the possible effects of Brexit on the music industry, claiming that “revenues from the EU are a critical element of the business”, and that “therefore, it is of some concern that the arrival of Brexit may hold back further growth.”

Speaking to Politico, Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, expressed “deep” disappointment at the restrictions of movement implemented by the Home Office, and asked for “the U.K. government to reconsider our call for a two-year, multi-entry visa.”