Letter about EU Touring

Friday 15th January 2021

A letter about EU Touring is being drafted by Lord Strasbuger (Lib Dem peer) and shared by Midge Ure

If you would like to add your name to this please email midgeure1@mac.com

More details and the letters are here

My friend Lord Strasburger wants to instigate a letter to The Times (see below) and has asked me if not only I could put my name to it but if I knew other touring musicians from all areas of the arts would be willing to add theirs.

No need to go into the why’s and where for’s suffice to say this ridiculous visa/touring scenario will hurt us all very badly.

Please mail me back with an email address you don’t mind using if you are willing to support this action.

Musicians please pass on to your contacts.
Agents please forward to your clients.

The aim is to get this letter published next week.

Thanks to you all


Letter from Lord Strasbuger to The Times:

“Touring is absolutely the lifeblood of the [music] industry and we recognise the importance of the continued ease of movement of musicians, equipment and merchandise once we’ve left the EU…. It’s absolutely essential that free movement for artists is protected post-2020.”

Those fine words came from a minister last January and the same message has been repeated many times by other ministers.  

A year later, and the reality is that British musicians, dancers, actors and their support staff have been shamefully failed by their government.

The deal done with the EU has a gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be. Everyone on a European music tour will now need a costly visa for every country they visit and a mountain of paperwork for their equipment. Also they face problems using their UK trucks for transport.

The extra costs will make many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water. The whole industry is on life support due to the Covid ban on live music and this negotiating failure will tip many performers over the edge.

We call on the government to urgently do what it said it would do and negotiate paperwork-free travel in Europe for British artists and their equipment. For the sake of British fans wanting to see European performers in the UK and British venues wishing to host them, the deal should be reciprocal.