THE MUSICIAN’S UNION is calling on the Government and Parliament to back a Musicians’ Passport for musicians working in the EU post-Brexit.

With a great deal of uncertainty surrounding musicians touring Europe in the wake of Brexit, the MU have proposed an affordable, multi-entry and admin-light passport that will allow musicians to keep touring and performing in all EU member states for the foreseeable future.

Alongside the petition, the MU have set out the following criteria. The Musicians’ Passport must:

  • Last a minimum of two years
  • Be free or cheap
  • Cover all EU member states
  • Get rid of the need for carnets and other permits
  • Cover road crew, technicians and other staff necessary for musicians to do their job

It is likely that Brexit will have a massive impact on the lives of touring musicians. The MU say: “Most musicians and performers rely on touring and performing in the European Union to make a living.  Musicians, and other creative and cultural workers, are a distinct workforce with specific needs. Visa and customs rules post-Brexit need to account for that.

“The Musicians’ Passport must be affordable, multi-entry and admin-light. Placing costly and resource heavy barriers to that could have a severe impact on working and aspiring musicians – as well as the broader UK music industry.

Musicians already have experience with difficult visa systems. It can cost thousands to take a band to the United States, and the cost of fast-track visa processing fees have just gone up 15%. Musicians have voiced their fears that something similar might happen with the European Union, to devastating effect.”

Musicians visit multiple countries on tour, often jumping across borders on a daily basis, often with very little notice. If every musician has to get a visa and carnet for every country they visit, it will make any work in Europe impossible to schedule regardless of whether they are an emerging band or a world-renowned orchestra.”

Horace Trubridge, Mu General Secretary said: “Music and the performing arts rely on exchange of ideas and interaction between performers of different nationalities. We love working in the EU and we love artists coming over here. If musicians can’t travel easily both ways, our reputation as a country that embraces all arts and culture will be severely damaged. Our members’ ability to earn a living will also be severely affected”

Find out more and sign the petition here.