The fifth largest live music market in the world previously posed the most costly and complicated visa application process in the EU
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The breakthrough follows extensive efforts from the Greek government and figures from across the UK and Greek music industry
By James Hanley on 09 Jun 2022
UK artists and their crews will no longer need visas to tour in Greece, it has been confirmed.
The announcement, which comes into effect on Monday (13 June), was made yesterday by the Greek deputy minister of foreign affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.
It follows extensive efforts from the Greek government and figures from across the UK and Greek music industry, including LIVE members James Wright of UTA, Craig Stanley of Marshall Arts and Paul Fenn of The Entertainment Agents’ Association.
With artists travelling to Greece previously having to apply for and receive a Schengen visa, the move represents a considerable boost for the UK’s live music sector post-Brexit.
“This is a huge victory for both artists and fans”
“This is a huge victory for both artists and fans, representing a further step towards the frictionless touring ecosystem needed by the live music sector,” says LIVE CEO Jon Collins. “The prohibitive costs and bureaucracy posed by visa regimes threaten the export and growth of budding talent from across the UK, and while issues such as cabotage and carnets remain, we will continue to work on behalf of the sector to resolve these alongside our international counterparts.”
Fenn adds: “We’re pleased to see that the diligent work of the LIVE Touring Group team coupled with the promoters in Greece quickly identified the problem that arose and managed to effectively target the lobbying in Athens to achieve a quick resolution.”
LIVE warns that despite the welcome move, which is subject to review at the end of the year, touring artists still face restrictions on touring: a three-stop limit to UK touring vehicles before they have to return to home, and an expensive goods passport (a “carnet”), including a bond for instruments and equipment.
Last year, LIVE and the Association for British Orchestras (ABO), alongside their Spanish counterparts Asociación Promotores Musicales and key industry players such as Live Nation Spain, also successfully worked to waive visas for UK artists touring in Spain.
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