European artists will need visas to perform at venues or cultural events in the U.K. after the Brexit transition period ends | Niklas Halle'n/AFP via Getty Images
EU touring artists will need visas to perform in the UK from 2021
Home Office pours cold water on artists’ hopes of retaining free movement between the UK and the EU.
Updated 2/19/20, 5:50 PM CET
LONDON — EU artists and entertainers will need visas to perform in the United Kingdom from January 2021, the Home Office has said.
The department announced Tuesday that artists and sports players from the EU would be subject to the same rules that currently apply to their non-EU peers once the Brexit transition comes to an end in December.
At the moment, artists and their crews can travel freely from the EU to the U.K. and vice versa without applying for work permits or visas. But once freedom of movement ends, both EU and non-EU artists will need a Tier 5 visa in order to perform in the U.K., take part in competitions or auditions, participate in promotional activities, attend workshops, give talks about their work, and take part in cultural events or festivals.
With this announcement, briefly mentioned in a policy paper, the Home Office has poured cold water on the hopes of the British live industry to achieve reciprocal arrangements between the U.K. and the EU that resemble freedom of movement as much as possible, enabling artists to continue to move around with their instruments and merchandising without facing extra paperwork or costs.