In the eyes of many, the music industry is at the heart of British identity and the economy. The challenges that Brexit will bring to the music industry will make being a musician more expensive on all accounts. It will cost more to tour, cost more for administration, and more to book classical artists. From the looks of it, the music industry in Britain is at the beginning of a downward spiral.
The music industry in the UK is worth multi-billions. Music festivals are ever-popular amongst Britons, especially in the summer. However, the introduction of visas for every person who visits Britain will cause havoc among the various acts and bands who fly into the country to entertain us. The industry is calling for musicians to have special visas in order to make the process easier.
It is typical for acts to fly a day, if not hours, before they are set to perform live on stage. The longer queues at customs will affect bands entering the country. This could possibly deter bands from touring in the UK, as tours are already very hectic and busy, the new customs will only slow them down.
Perhaps Brexit’s biggest and most harmful impact upon the music industry is its effect upon the live music sector. This will impact artists visiting from abroad, but also British musicians going abroad on tours and playing festivals. Every artist who tours will now have to list everything they take into that country. All instruments, all merchandise, all technology will have to be listed when it is taken on tour. This will cost time and money, leaving small artists much worse off compared to larger, more recognised bands.
Brexit’s interference in the music industry doesn’t stop at music festivals. No, CD’s and vinyls are also impacted. Most vinyl records and CD’s are made in Europe, Brexit means that these goods will now take longer to get through customs, meaning we will get physical access to new music much later than the rest of the continent. Yes, there are streaming sites which means we have instant access, but there is something incredible about having music in the physical form. This doesn’t only affect the consumer, but will also affect record shops.
Brexit will mean that it will be more difficult to go on tour, making touring very hard to afford for smaller acts that have not risen to fame just yet. This might deter younger people who love making music, from going into the industry if they don’t have the financial means to support themselves with the added costs.
When looking at Brexit’s impact in the classical music sectors, many musicians are demanding to be paid in euros because of the fall in the British pound. This makes classical musicians more expensive for venues. The problems within the classical industry doesn’t stop there, if European musicians start to need visas, then administration costs for musicians will become a lot more expensive, and therefore increase the number of barriers in the way of booking international artists.
Brexit is putting the music industry in jeopardy, but sadly there is nothing we can do to help the beloved industry.