Musicians and other members of the cultural sector are reacting with fury to news that the UK government has “rejected” an EU offer to end touring visas for UK musicians.
The independent understands that this is because the government insists on denying this same right to EU artists visiting the UK to perform, in part because of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s tough stance on the immigration.
“It is generally in our agreements with third countries that [work] visas are not required for musicians. We tried to include it, but the UK said no, ”said a European source close to the negotiations.
On social media, artists and music fans have condemned the government for its failure to help protect the industry, which in 2019 contributed around £ 5.8bn to the UK economy.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke called MPs “wireless f *** s” in a tweet, while Tim Burgess said the industry and fans had “an explanation.”
Actor, comedian and director David Schneider said the decision was “unforgivable”.
“It’s like they’re determined to destroy all the thriving industries that we have,” he said.
Actor and director Samuel West tweeted, “I woke up crushed by the mulish perversity of this decision. Making it so much more difficult to speak the international language of music across borders sounds like anger.
Award-winning musician, producer and composer Ivor Novello, Nitin Sawhney, said: “Why the hell is this government so eager to destroy the music industry ??? They don’t give money to struggling artists (none of the £ 1.7bn was for the artists themselves) and then doing this after the lockdown robs the musicians of live performance income. Why??? ”
“This is an incredibly sad and damaging decision for all musicians in this country,” said artist Felix White.
Labor MP Angela Rayner said the government’s decision was “unforgivable” and accused the Conservatives of using musicians and performers as “a political football”.
“We have to do all we can to support our brilliant musicians, our music industry and our creative industries,” she said.
UK music festivals suffered a 90.2 percent drop in revenues last year, with festival organizers still unsure whether they will be able to host events this summer.
The head of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) said The independent that she was “horrified” by evidence that an offer on music had been turned down, while Labor said fans “would not forgive” the government.