Uncertainty over Brexit “has already started to affect parts of the music industry,” writes Michael Hann in last Wednesday’s (4/3) Guardian (U.K.). For recordings, “with production costs having already increased for UK companies because of the fall in the pound, tax and customs costs set to increase, and retail margins on CDs already low … physical music is going to become more expensive…. Brexit’s greatest impact on music, though, looks likely to be on the live sector…. Take the carnet system. This allows people travelling on business to take merchandise from one country to another.… It may well not apply for British artists travelling to Europe, post-Brexit…. It’s not just money, it’s time—which on tours run on shoestring budgets is another cost…. Musicians will need visas, too. The industry has been calling for special musicians’ visas, but there’s been no response from government…. In the classical sector, venue bookers are starting to report that musicians are beginning to demand payment in euros, making them more expensive to book as the pound falls. John Summers, chief executive of the Hallé Orchestra … warns of a big fall in the number of European musicians coming to the UK to learn and study.”

Posted April 11, 2019