The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Save Music: ISM adds voice to post-Brexit movement debate

For UK music to continue to flourish after Brexit, artists need freedom of movement, or at least a two-year working visa, says the Incorporated Society of Musicians

By Jon Chapple on 06 Nov 2018

Deborah Annetts, ISM

image © Mark Thompson/ISM

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the professional body for UK musicians, has launched a new campaign, Save Music, that aims to secure either freedom of movement to be maintained for artists post-Brexit, or the introduction of a two-year working visa specifically for musicians.

The campaign follows an EU Select Committee report which recommended the introduction of a multi-entry visa for creatives, including musicians, post-Brexit, as well as the ISM’s own Musicians and Brexit report, which highlighted the post-Brexit concerns of the association’s 9,000 members.

“For decades our musicians have had the right to travel freely across the EU, performing their music in numerous different countries to countless audiences,” comments ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts (pictured). “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.

“It cannot be underestimated the damage that will be done to the music we enjoy … if we don’t get the two-year visa”

“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. 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 [permitted paid engagement] 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 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.”

A similar proposal, floated by UK Music and backed by at least one prominent pro-Brexit MP, is the creation of temporary ‘touring passport’ for British artists playing EU countries, while the Musicians’ Union, similar to ISM, has called for a dedicated EU touring visa for musicians.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.