Will “Brexit” Change UK Music?

It’s hard to miss the news that the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) about a week ago. Since then, the UK government has been scrambling to get organized, and the economy is in flux as the rest of the world market adjusts. But for those in the music industry, a question comes to mind: will the Brexit greatly impact how the UK music industry operates?

The “Wait and See” Approach

It may be too early to tell what the UK music industry could face in the coming months. Certainly, record labels are now worried about how this geopolitical change could affect their economic growth, such as traveling from one European country to another for tours.

Janos Gereben of the San Francisco Classical Voice explained that it will take time to see any problems that may arise as a result of the leave. However, Gereben added some historical context to the particular issue of travel between countries for music tours.

Gereben wrote that in the 1970s, “...touring musicians were required to carry a "carnet" — a document listing their every piece of equipment, which would be rigorously checked at each border — and visas were required to enter most European territories.”

However, if this policy was implemented again, not all artists would see this as a hindrance to the industry. The 1975’s Matt Healy told the IQ publication: “It will make touring a lot harder, but freedom of movement isn’t literally going to stop. There’ll still be soft borders. I’m sure there’ll be a European visa.”

Will This Impact U.S. Music?

There are signs that the Brexit may not impact US artists as greatly. At most, American musicians may expect some extra steps to be taken at the border from the UK to the rest of the EU for international tours. But this does not mean that the tours, and the income from those tours, will be halted entirely.

For now, the industry continues on, and artists continue to produce music and plan tours. Gereben concluded by adding, “It’s uncertain, as is everything else in the post-Brexit vote world.” 


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