Almost half of UK musicians have noticed an impact on their work as a result of Brexit

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The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has published its Musicians and Brexit report, revealing the concerns of more than 1,600 musicians regarding freedom of movement post-Brexit. Conducted in April 2018, the study uncovers musicians’ travel habits when working in Europe and the rest of the world.

Headlines from the Report:

  • More than 40% of musicians have noticed an impact on their work as a result of Brexit. (Up from 26% in 2017 and 19% in 2016).
  • 39% of musicians travel to the EU more than five times a year. 12% travel to the EU more than 20 times a year.
  • More than one in eight performers had less than seven days’ notice between being offered work and having to take it.

Warnings from the Rest of the World:

  • More than a third of musicians had experienced difficulties with visas when travelling outside the EU. Of those experiencing difficulties 79%  identified visas as the source of those difficulties.
  • Whilst employers and engagers often cover the visa costs, 33% of musicians still spent more than £300 a year on securing visas to work (5% of musicians spent more than £1,000 a year).
  • 15% of UK musicians have lost a job opportunity because of problems with visas.

Responding to the report, one musician said, ‘I occasionally work outside the EU, Middle East and the USA but years can go by in between due to travel costs. However I work in the EU on a constant basis as travel costs are low, there is a good network of work for musicians in my genre. I’m in Germany as I type. [But] some EU clients are reluctant to commit to bookings until there is clarity into my status.’

The report calls for freedom of movement to be protected for musicians post-Brexit, with Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM, urging the UK Government and EU ‘to reach an agreement on mobility for musicians and other artists post-Brexit as soon as possible.’