“PROTECT the hopes and dreams of the next generation,” preaches David Cameron in his latest plea to voters. He wants you to vote remain and in less than 24 hours, the UK will decide the fate of the country in a historic EU referendum vote. Tenement TV is a music website, in Scotland. We know this shit is real.

Let us begin with two facts. In 2015, the UK’s music industry outperformed the rest of the British economy by five percent and this week’s EU referendum will have a massive effect on the music industry. David Cameron is urging people to vote remain, however recent polls are showing the vote to be incredibly close.

The vote will take place whilst more than 200,000 people are at Glastonbury festival. The festival’s founders urged people to register for a postal vote after it was told they could not install voting stations at the event, something we really hope they did.

Quite simply, the music industry is divided. Although, it seems to be less so with the Scottish artists we spoke to. We’ve collected some crucial standpoints, those you would actually care about. Here we start with Yanis of Foals who was surprisingly torn: “My main concern, and I guess this is the thing the Brexit people are playing upon, is a fear that the population will expand to 80m people in Britain.

“And when you already have problems with the NHS, you have problems with schooling, there are problems within British society’s infrastructure, my concern would only be that you don’t have sovereignty, you don’t have the ability to control what is happening in your own country.”

Last year, British artists accounted for over 17 percent of album sales in the six largest European markets after the UK—Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands—where they enjoyed nearly a third of the share.

Jamie MacColl from Bombay Bicycle Club can see some major issues for musicians if the UK chooses to leave the EU: “Primarily I’m interested in the implications of touring round Europe,” he tells Newsbeat.

“At the moment, musicians don’t have to travel with visas round Europe so there’s no visa fees. If you’re an up and coming band, when touring Europe, it’s very expensive in the first place.”

One of this year’s 16 T Break bands, Declan Welsh passed his comments on the subject: “There has never been two more abhorrent and uninspiring campaigns run that Leave and Remain in the Brexit vote. I have to choose between Boris and Cameron. Jesus.  It’s a very odd position as a socialist finding yourself on the side of remaining within possibly the most obvious embodiment of international corporatism; but that’s probably where I am. The EU is shite, but a post EU UK will probably be shiter. Politics: inspiring in’t it?”

jr green

Rory from Scottish band JR Green commented: ‘If leaving the EU meant that a Visa was needed when travelling to other European countries then this would definitely have a negative effect on  the music industry. Perhaps it would not affect bigger acts so much but for bands, like ourselves, who are starting out and who are about to take their first, exciting steps towards performing outside of the UK, this will be a problem and an unnecessary difficulty.”

Just this week, Scottish music mogul Alan McGee made an intervention in the referendum debate because he believes in “people, humanity and not borders”, urging people to vote remain. McGee said: “All you hear from the Brexit camp is that we can control things by getting back sovereignty and protecting our borders from mass immigration. It’s easy to criticise but the Leave camp don’t offer any policy solutions to immigration, even in a post-leave Britain. They play on emotion and fear.

“Whether we remain or leave the European Union, displaced refugees from countries like Syria will continue to come over to seek a better life for themselves and their families. Let’s be honest, people don’t put their life and their children’s life at risk because they want to, they do so because they have to.

“It’s basic human survival and if people think that displaced immigrants who make it to Calais won’t cross the 26 miles between France and the UK then they are very much mistaken and out of touch with the real world.”


Hamish from Glasgow band WHITE reflected on his recent experiences touring Europe: “Personally to me it would make touring really difficult, we drive ourselves around Europe and spend a lot of time in Holland, it would limit all bands freedom to tour and spread their music. Also we’ve been lucky to work with really great people from other areas of Europe who are making an important impact on Scottish music right now and this would complicate there lives too.”

The facts 

If Britain leaves the EU, we could find ourselves excluded from having free movement across much of Europe’s mainland.

It will become more complicated to work across borders in this way. We could also potentially see a reduction in so-called ‘music tourism’, which generated £3.1 billion for the UK economy in 2014, with a 39 percent rise in overseas tourists attending music events in the last four years.

As a nation, switching our focus from trading with Europe to trading with Brazil, China, and India doesn’t really work for the music industry because we’re making very small inroads there.

Tomorrow we decide. Let’s keep music and our future together as one.