Musicians from across the UK including Ealing’s White Lies are urgently calling on the government to fix the problem with touring in Europe following the UK leaving the European Union which has caused red tape and increased costs for artists to perform post Brexit.
It comes as a cross-party group of more than 100 MPs and members of the House Of Lords, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music in which Ealing Central & Acton MP Rupa Huq is vice chair, released a new report on touring in Europe following Brexit. The Let the Music Move – A New Deal for Touring report highlights urgent action is needed to be taken by the government to help UK musicians and crew tour members and the need to appoint a “Touring Tsar”.
Submitting their voice, White Lies, who were founded by band members who went to North Ealing Primary School, told of their concerns and the impact of what happened to them with their European tour. Earlier this year in April, the band had to cancel the opening night in Paris of their 2022 European Tour due to administration issues which saw their equipment being held up for two days and not being able to arrive on time.
“It cost the band (and our fans) financially and emotionally, and shouldn’t have happened. We have the resources to pay experienced professionals to guide us through the red tape, but the reality for newer acts is that touring in Europe could become an impossible dream. We welcome all proposals for extra funding, designated websites to provide clear guidance, the cutting of red tape, and the appointment of a touring tsar to help expedite all of the above. These changes can go some way to helping this country’s musicians and performers to not become a cultural casualty of Brexit.”
White Lies drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown, who grew up in Ealing told the BBC that post Brexit, touring in Europe has become a major issue that is “devastating”.
“It was a real disaster,” he spoke of what5 happened to them in April when their equipment was held up in Dover. Our truck containing all of our equipment and all of the lights and the stage for the show got stuck in an enormous two or three-day-long queue – and there was no chance of the driver getting onto a boat in time to make the show happen, which was pretty devastating.”
The report can be read here.