76% of British Musicians Will Stop Touring Europe Due to Brexit, Survey Finds

UK musicians Brexit
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UK musicians Brexit
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Photo Credit: Samuel Regan-Asante

A new survey of UK musicians finds that 76% of them may stop touring Europe due to Brexit. Here’s the breakdown.

Encore Musicians, an online booking platform, surveyed its users to determine how they felt about the government’s response to Brexit. There were 452 respondents to the survey, and their answers paint a stark picture. Around 76% responded that Brexit travel restrictions would prevent them from touring Europe.

And this quickly gets worse: 40% said they had already canceled part of their European tours because of the restrictions. 91% of respondents agreed that Brexit would have a negative impact on them as a musician.

Musicians who perform in Europe earn around £4,673 ($6,417) per year of their income from those tours. If European travel is made too difficult, that revenue stream is directly cut off for UK musicians. Another key point the survey found is that musicians don’t have faith that the government will fix things.

90% said they were not confident a post-Brexit travel deal would arrive that works well for musicians. The result of this survey (if small) is that musicians will be impacted negatively. Shrinking opportunities for income is one of the biggest issues surrounding the travel restrictions. But the cost for cabotage and customs also increases costs exponentially.

The UK music industry contributes £5.2 billion ($7.14 billion) to the UK economy each year. There are over 200,000 people employed in every facet of the industry.

That means a failure to negotiate a better post-Brexit travel plan impacts everyone. Musicians are also expressing concern that EU markets may favor EU musicians over UK musicians – simply to avoid paperwork. It’s another incalculable way that these musicians may miss out in a post-Brexit world.

All of these sales figures are based on 2019, the last year with valid data. The survey finds that older UK musicians are the most likely category to miss out. Those over 55 earned £5,419 ($7,442)  from their European tour activity. Meanwhile, those UK artists aged 18-24 only earned £1,114 ($1,530) on average.

On the genre side of things, classical musicians stand to lose the most revenue. Classical UK musicians earn on average £5,713 ($7,845) from European tours. Jazz UK musicians would be the least impacted, earning on average £3,402 ($4,672)  from their European gigs. That’s still a pretty chunk of change to have gone up in flames overnight, though.

In total, 88% of the musicians thinking Brexit decreases the value of the UK music industry. It’s hard to imagine what the other 12% are thinking.

4 Responses

  1. jbneon

    Follow the money … Why are EU countries making it difficult with the ” cost for cabotage and customs also increases costs exponentially.” These countries do not care about free trade or unencumbered movement of citizens. Its about control & $$$.
    Till citizens of ALL countries unite against the tyranny of excessive government control. The bureaucracy will extract there pound or euro for their self serving ends.

    • Robis

      Zzzz. Way to not get the big picture and react emotionally rather than intelligently.

  2. Johnny

    The truth is, only about 0.000002% of musicians become “successful”. And 60% of Pro musicians have already quit the business and now this! Seems like everybody in the music business is making money EXCEPT THE MUSICIANS! The only musicians left will soon be the buskers on the streets with all those others getting day jobs in order to be able to feed their families. But of course, that is what they all deserve, eh?! Yes, pretty obvious the fans could care less when 70% of them say they now will not pay for music any more. When you think that the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ cost about $500,000 to record and now the fans expect some guy working in his bedroom studio in Bakersfield to come up with something similar or even better than the Queen song ON NO BUDGET??!! DREAM ON FANS!! But please don’t complain about all the crap now on the radio. Quality music costs money. A lot of money. And good luck ever seeing another ‘Sgt. Pepper’ or another ‘Dark side of the moon’ – and musicians, give up your Limos and your private jets and go get a day job! Those 0.000002% of you not already working day jobs in 2021!

  3. Winston C.

    Political hack story. Musicians will play any gig, anywhere, that pays.

    Brexit was the best thing the UK ever did.