Deal will allow UK performers to do short tours in 19 EU members states visa-free


Performers from the UK will be able to tour a number of European countries without the need for a visa or work permit

Before the UK left the European Union, freedom of movement rules meant performers could hold gigs and concerts without having to worry about visas or work permits.

But after Brexit, they were told they would need permission to work in the places they intended to perform, leaving many facing increased costs.

But the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it has negotiated a deal with 19 EU states, which would allow British performers to do short tours without needing a visa.

These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Talks are continuing with other EU states, including Spain, Portugal and Greece to see if their rules can be aligned with the UK’s, which allow for performers and support staff to visit for up to three months visa-free.

DCMS said in a statement: “We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily.

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“We recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry.

“We want to ensure that when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.”

It comes after heavy lobbying from those in the performance sector, including musicians Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran.

Sir Elton said earlier this year that the restrictions had threatened a “generation of talent”, telling The Observer that he was “livid about what the government did when Brexit happened”.

“They made no provision for the entertainment business, and not just for musicians, actors and film directors, but for the crews, the dancers, the people who earn a living by going to Europe,” he said.

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