With still no clarification of how Brexit will actually work out, The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has launched a new campaign to put forward the concerns of its members. “Save Music” calls for freedom of movement to be maintained for musicians post-Brexit, or a two-year working visa to be introduced.
As it stands, Brexit could have diabolical repercussions for the creative sector – even as the debate hots up, things aren’t looking any warmer for those needing easy passage to and from Europe. ISM’s campaign comes following an EU Select Committee report which recommended the introduction of a multi-entry visa for creatives, including musicians, post-Brexit. The campaign is backed up ISM’s Musicians and Brexit series of reports which revealed the concerns of more than 1,600 musicians and called for freedom of movement to be protected for musicians post-Brexit.
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of ISM, said: “For decades our musicians have had the right to travel freely across the EU, performing their music in numerous different countries to countless audiences. For many musicians, this has been of immense value in creating music, establishing their careers and keeping a roof over their heads.
“The ability to travel freely lies at the heart of creating music – music is universal and knows no boundaries. The very best music often comes from musicians from all walks of life coming together to collaborate.”
The House of Lords EU Select Committee report, published in July 2018, recognised the importance of freedom of movement for musicians and recommended a multi-entry visa enabling creatives including musicians to continue to work freely across the EU post-Brexit.
Added Annetts: “We along with many other music organisations believe that a two-year visa is what is needed. And yet, at the moment, government does not seem to be able to differentiate between immigration and life as a touring musician.
“Instead they are suggesting an extension of the disastrous PPE which prevented so many musicians performing at WOMAD earlier this year. It cannot be underestimated the damage that will be done to the music we enjoy and the music that is yet to be created if we don’t get the two-year visa. That is why today the ISM has launched Save Music, a campaign calling on everyone and not just musicians to lobby their MP and endorse the two-year visa.”