With a monumental change that is Brexit, a lot of questions and fears arise in regards of the possibility to keep gigging and working as a musician within the European Union. Conditions keep shifting and some bitter surprises appear on the way —such as the rejection by UK government of the EU offer to allow visa-free travel to touring musicians—, so the first step is to prepare in advance as comprehensively as you can.
To help navigate the new rules and requirements, the Musicians’ Union has put together a flowchart that you can download following this link. Other advise provided by the union is:
- Some of the administration can be completed in advance of work being offered, such as a valid passport and a range of insurances, including instrument and equipment cover, PLI, and business travel insurance.
- Be aware, you will need to check the requirements for each of the member states you will be visiting as they often differ from each other.
- If you require a CITES Musical Instrument Certificate, we recommend obtaining one immediately. The Certificate lasts for three years and currently there is no charge.
- Where individual musicians are travelling alone to or from a gig, or between tours or different gigs, part of their travel may have been organised by a tour manager. It is key to establish who is responsible for acquiring and paying for the relevant documentation, insurance, carnets, visas etc.
- If you are flying out to join a tour, you may not have proof of a ‘return journey’ because you intend coming back with the group. We recommend liaising in advance with the tour management to avoid any oversights.
- Remember that securing the correct ‘paperwork’ once you have left the UK can be extremely difficult.
We encourage you to follow the Musicians’ Union website to be up to date with the news about working in the European Union. You can also join the MU for just £1 for the first six months, learn about the benefits clicking here.