Post-Brexit Touring: What You Need to Know.
Global pandemic aside, we know you’re anxious about what the Brexit deals between the UK and the European Union are going to mean for touring musicians and performers. Here is what you need to know about taking your show on the road in a post-apocalyptic, umm, we mean post-Brexit world.
Firstly, don’t panic. This is not a zombie apocalypse and the world isn’t ending. You are going to be able to take your music to the continent once the coronavirus has done one, (and we all wish it would). With the over-dramatic headlines about the “outcry” of musicians over the Brexit talks, you’d be forgiven for thinking your tour bus will never get lost in a Parisian underground tunnel again. Seriously though, why are they so confusing? Or you may think the government are conspiring to stop all the fun of getting stuck in a traffic jam on a roundabout in Florence because people clearly think indicators are a waste of power. Well, conspiracy or not, touring will be able to continue undisrupted once we’re allowed to do so again. House of Tours has got you covered.
What’s the big deal? Why are people getting so upset? Well, under the EU law, people from other EU nations used to be able to travel freely for work or pleasure throughout the European Union without necessity of additional documents like visas. People are understandably upset that because of the Brexit vote, their freedom of movement has been restricted. According to an EU spokesperson, “travel between the EU and the UK – including for business purposes – will no longer be as easy as it was while the UK was a member state.”
We get it, people are upset, but the truth is, touring in the EU is still totally doable. A little more paperwork and hoops to jump through, but that’s our hill to climb, not yours. One of our many services at House of Tours is facilitating touring around the world, so we really do know what we’re talking about here. It’s our job to know how to get you, your eight guitars, your kazoo and your lucky hat to the venue on time. That’s what we do.
What are the rules now? Well, according to the BBC news website, “under the terms of the deal, British bands can tour Europe for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. But tours in Germany and Spain, for instance, will now require extra visas for paid work, while those in France and The Netherlands will not.” What we take from that, is that some countries in the EU will not be requiring as much logistics planning as others. The EU say that “it is now up to each member state to determine if a visa is required for short-stay visits for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.” So, some countries within the EU will require work and travel permits. It’s not that we don’t understand the industry’s anger at this, our point is just that most countries require some sort of paperwork, visa or permits to tour in. The UK also has rules about touring for those coming from abroad. It’s not that much more work for us, and it’s certainly not that much more expensive.
Carnets are now needed for your equipment while touring the EU for your instruments and sound apparatus to travel into other countries while avoiding import/export fees. But this is also the case for the USA, Canada, Switzerland and dozens of other popular touring destinations and has been for years. Getting a carnet for European tours isn’t such a major inconvenience when we had to do it anyway for most other countries. Let’s just say, we know how it works.
The new rules about carnets, visas and spending more than 90 days in one country are much the same as those which apply to touring further afield such as Australia, the USA or South America. The fees are annoying, but not particularly costly so touring the EU, as with any other area of the globe is absolutely manageable. It’s our job to make sure your tour abides by the law, so no need to waste time panicking. Let us sort it for you. We can do this!
Will the music industry survive? Of course, we’ll survive. Joel Stanley is one of the nation’s leading production managers. He writes that “we are one of the most resilient industries in the world and we will always make the show happen.” Amen to that. Life without art is devoid of flavour and variety is the spice of life. Humans need art to survive, whatever the government officials say, and we will find a way because humans can do one thing really, really well: we adapt.
At House of Tours, we’re not afraid of the challenge this presents. Touring is an important part of sustaining the costs of creating and recording music. We want to be clear: It is still going to be possible. However, we know that the pandemic has affected the industry as much as the Brexit news has, so we have a solution for that too, with our pre-recording and live-streaming facilities for bands and performers to use alongside touring in the future and instead of it for now. Check out what other services we provide and see how we’re setting the standard for innovative logistics and production in the music industry and more.