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Spain Scraps Visa Requirement For UK Touring Musicians
Christian Eede , November 17th, 2021 17:42

UK musicians and their crew will no longer need visas for stays of less than 90 days

The Spanish government has scrapped its post-Brexit visa requirement for UK musicians and their crew on short-term tours.

As The Guardian reports, the change in policy follows months of lobbying by UK music industry bodies, with Spain one of a small number of EU nations, following Brexit, that had required UK musicians and crew to obtain visas in order to perform in the country during stays that lasted less than 90 days. One of those music industry organisations, UK Music, described the move as a "big victory," having stated that the previous visa requirements amounted to "costly and bureaucratic barriers that threatened the industry's talent pipeline."

Warning that musicians and their crew still faced some obstacles, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, said: "The lifting of visa restrictions by the Spanish government is a hugely welcome move. However, it is important to remember that major issues still remain, particularly cabotage [the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a foreign operator], which makes many tours impossible.

"We will continue to press the case with the government here and with EU nations to remove all the costly and bureaucratic restrictions that remain when it comes to touring the EU. It is vital for our economy and exports that musicians and crew can tour freely, grow their fanbase and share the very best of British music across Europe and the rest of the world."

In August, the number of EU nations offering UK musicians visa-free touring increased from 17 to 19, but criticisms of the UK government over its inability to negotiate a deal that wouldn't impact UK musicians and their crew prior to Brexit remained.

Read tQ's Black Sky Thinking piece on why artist visas are more than a Brexit issue, originally published at the start of this year, here.