The Chemical Brothers, Blur, Primal Scream and Radiohead are among the artists urging the government to make it easier for British musicians to tour the European Union after Brexit.
The musicians warn that British artists face “insurmountable financial and logistical hurdles” after the UK’s departure from the EU and call on ministers to “save” European tours.
It comes after new after Brexit the rules that came into effect at the start of 2021 mean that artists are not guaranteed to travel without a visa within the EU.
Many have joined forces in the #LetTheMusicMove campaign which urges the government to end the extra costs and “bureaucracy” that they say keep them from touring across Europe.
Primal Scream bassist Simon Butler said touring the EU at the moment was “financially and logistically unrealistic” for British artists.
“It is essential that bands, artists, musicians and DJs can travel to Europe at all levels of their careers,” he said.
âEurope is part of the geographic workspace.
âMaking it financially and logistically unrealistic to put on shows and festivals will end the livelihoods and careers of generations of musicians. “
Another campaign supporter, rock band Skunk Anansie, urged authorities to act immediately.
“Tours in the EU and the need to put in place the right process for easy and economical access to Europe are crucial now more than ever,” they said in a statement.
âIt is the lifeblood of bands and artists, not just financially, but to expand their fan base and deliver their art to a wider audience and the home of many bands to hone their art.
âEspecially now, after the extreme financial impact of the pandemic, this tour can and will be a lifeline for many bands, artists and crews.
“We need action, we need support and we need access.”
Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox also supported the campaign with Blur drummer David Rowntree.
Mr Rowntree, now a Labor adviser, had previously warned that there was “a real problem for musicians on tour”.
He told Sky News: “A lot of people who were planning on touring Europe will find that they cannot. The next generation of bands who are already living day to day will find that writing, recording and releasing music is not viable because they cannot tour enough to support it. “
The government is increasingly criticized for failing to reach a deal that would allow musicians and performers to work and travel freely in the EU after Brexit.
A petition calling for paperless travel was debated in parliament in February after collecting more than 280,000 signatures.
In January, more than 100 artists and designers, including Sir Elton John, Liam Gallagher and Glastonbury co-organizer Emily Eavis signed a protest letter with similar demands.
Live music contributed Â£ 1.3bn to the economy in 2019 and Â£ 86m to exports, according to industry group UK Music.
The organization says 845,000 overseas music fans visited the UK that year and 45,633 jobs were supported by music tourism.
Musical tours rely on artists and teams able to travel between many countries in a short period of time.
Brexit put an end to the free movement of Britons in Europe, adding huge costs, paperwork and work permits to tours in many of the 27 member states.
The British government and Brussels blame each other for not solving the problem, each saying the other side rejected their proposals.