Just when you think things are as miserable as they can get, a new piece of idiocy turns up. Now, in our post-Brexit wonderland, it seems that the only live bands and classical musicians that’ll be able to tour the UK from the EU as of 2021 are the ones who are able to pay £244 for each member’s visa and demonstrate that they each have at least £1,000 in savings. That’s a lot of money for an orchestra to hand over, and it’s a lot of money to expect struggling musicians to have in the bank.
According to the Incorporated Society of Musicians, “this is taking a shotgun and shooting ourselves in the foot” – not least because the EU may then impose similar tariffs and rules on UK musicians touring the EU.
We’ve already seen this in operation for non-EU musicians, with significant consequences for world music festivals such as Womad. Apparently the department of media, culture and sport fought against it but were overruled by the Home Office.