Posts Tagged ‘music’

The Guardian view on Eurovision 2020: don’t blame the public | Editorial

Handing control of Britain’s entry this year to a record label is a daringly anti-democratic response to years of abject failure

Asked why Britain struggles so badly at the Eurovision song contest, Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus made it sound simple in a recent interview. It was, he said, a question of finding “the right songwriters”.

Yes indeed. But what might seem straightforward for Mr Ulvaeus has become horribly complicated for the United Kingdom, which has underperformed in the competition to a startling degree for more than 20 years. Britain’s last victory came in 1997, with Love, Shine a Light by Katrina and the Waves. Years of failure and sometimes outright humiliation followed, most famously in 2003, when Jemini finished last with no points at all. Last year Michael Rice fared little better, scoring a miserable 11 points and also finishing at the bottom of the pile.

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Music industry fears bands will be unable to tour UK without visas

Professional body urges ministers to clarify proposed post-Brexit immigration rules

The music industry has urged the government to clarify its proposed immigration rules amid fears that bands from the EU will not be able to tour the UK without written permission or a visa.

They are the latest to warn of the economic risks posed by the new immigration rules which have already drawn criticism from the agriculture, hospitality and social care sectors.

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EU touring artists will need visas to perform in the UK from 2021

LONDON — EU artists and entertainers will need visas to perform in the United Kingdom from January 2021, the Home Office has said.

The department announced Tuesday that artists and sports players from the EU would be subject to the same rules that currently apply to their non-EU peers once the Brexit transition comes to an end in December.

At the moment, artists and their crews can travel freely from the EU to the U.K. and vice versa without applying for work permits or visas. But once freedom of movement ends, both EU and non-EU artists will need a Tier 5 visa in order to perform in the U.K., take part in competitions or auditions, participate in promotional activities, attend workshops, give talks about their work, and take part in cultural events or festivals.

With this announcement, briefly mentioned in a policy paper, the Home Office has poured cold water on the hopes of the British live industry to achieve reciprocal arrangements between the U.K. and the EU that resemble freedom of movement as much as possible, enabling artists to continue to move around with their instruments and merchandising without facing extra paperwork or costs. Music industry groups in the U.K. had called for a two-year working visa to allow artists to travel freely around the EU and the U.K. for work.

The decision also reveals differences of opinion within the government, after Culture Minister Nigel Adams said last month “it was absolutely essential” to protect free movement for artists post-2020 in an interview with Music Week.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said they are “deeply disappointed” that free movement for musicians and other artists from the EU has been ruled out.

“We would ask the U.K. government to reconsider our call for a two-year, multi-entry visa,” she said. “Any future immigration system does not exist in isolation and has huge implications for the negotiation of EU and U.S. trade deals and reciprocal arrangements. It is vital that any immigration system supports musicians who will need to tour in the EU post-Brexit.”

The House of Lords’ EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee warned in 2018 that unless effective reciprocal arrangements can be agreed between the U.K. and EU, the U.K. may see a decline in skilled cultural sector workers entering the country from the EU.

It added that “such a development would be to the detriment of the U.K. cultural sector, and represent a significant loss to the audiences that enjoy seeing talent from across Europe performing in the U.K.”

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