A petition for Europe-wide visa-free travel permits for touring professionals and musicians has received more than 222,000 signatures.
After the UK officially left the European Union on the 1st of January this year, the EU trade agreement deal allowed short-term visits without a visa for certain occupations, but it did not include artists and musicians.
The petition, which was started by Tim Brennan, states: “We would like the UK Govt to negotiate a free cultural work permit that gives us visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states for music touring professionals, bands, musicians, artists, TV and sports celebrities that tour the EU to perform shows and events & Carnet exception for touring equipment.”
It continues: “The UK has a huge music / event touring industry which has suffered immensely due to Covid. After the end of the transition period, we face further hardship when trying to tour the EU on a professional basis, with potentially each country asking for its own visa, that would be valid only for one trip. As a freelancer I and many like me travel through the EU countless times a year on different tours and events, this will become impossible due to cost and time if we do not have visa free travel.”
As the petition has now surpassed 100,000 signatures, the UK government must now respond to the petition and Parliament must consider it for debate.
Many artists have shared the petition, including Tim Burgess, who wrote that “so many MPs namedrop bands and artists in order for them to seem relevant/ cool. We now need them to help us,” adding that the UK music industry contributed £5.8bn to its economy in 2019.
So many MPs namedrop bands and artists in order for them to seem relevant/ cool. We now need them to help us.
The UK music industry contributed £5.8bn to our economy in 2019.
– for that to continue, we need to be able to tour Europe.
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) December 27, 2020