If you’re confused and overwhelmed with all the EU referendum stuff at the moment, you’re not alone. There’s so much information to take in and consider. It could have a huge impact on pretty much everything here in the UK, including the music industry. One company has just revealed research into how Brexit could affect the music industry in the UK, and it’s pretty scary, not just for the artists, but for us too.
If we left the EU, major aspects of the industry will be affected, including working visas, tax paid on records and merchandise, the touring ability of smaller acts, travel costs, and British fans being able to attend concerts in Europe.
Artists travelling to the UK do require a work permit, however UK band’s don’t need a working visa to perform in an EU country. If we left, they would need one, which could potentially place a huge barrier up for many artists during their touring schedule, meaning less gigs and some of your favourite artists not playing the usual venues.
Records and merchandise purchased online could increase in cost, as you currently don’t have to pay VAT or customs duty on imports and exports within the EU. If we left, that’d change. Even digital downloads would require the VAT registration for the artists in every EU country.
Smaller bands will be affected the most as the majority of their money is made during tours, selling merchandise and gaining exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential new fans during European festivals. Promoters from around the world will be less inclined to book acts as there’s additional costs, paperwork and general work involved.
Non-EU artists will have to purchase a Schengen visa that costs between £45-50 depending on the current exchange rate. This may not seem like a massive amount, but if you factor in the driver, tour manager, sound engineer or however many different people involved in the tour, the end result is a massive cost that just wasn’t there prior to Brexit.
For all the fans, it’s sad news as the costs of pretty much everything involved in seeing an artist abroad will increase in so many different ways. Flights for example are currently cheaper and more regular due to our EU-US open skies regulations, as well as free health care access, financial protection, caps on mobile phone charges and compensation for delayed flights that are included within the EU membership.
This is a brief overview of what impact Brexit could have on the music industry, and it doesn’t look like a positive one. Do you think we should leave? And what further knock-on effects do you think this may have on travelling artists and fans? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
If you’re still getting to grips with the whole thing then check out the BBC’s easy-to-follow breakdown of the referendum here.