The music sector is "facing ruin" from the dual threat of Covid-19 and Brexit, according to a new report from the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which is calling on the government to request an extension to the Brexit transition period.
This is the fifth report from the professional body as part of a series exploring the impact of Brexit on the music sector.
Entitled Will Music Survive Brexit?, the report is based on a survey carried out in February of 629 performers, composers, directors, artist managers, teachers and music technicians from genres including musical theatre, classical, pop, jazz and film music.
Key findings from the survey:
• 92% of respondents said they were concerned about their future ability to work in European Union countries
• 71% of musicians cited difficulties securing future bookings in EU countries
• Half of respondents identified a negative impact on their professional work since the EU referendum in 2016
• A fifth of musicians claimed they had experienced a loss of earnings due to reduced or cancelled work in the EU as a result of Brexit
• Nearly two thirds of respondents reported concerns about transporting instruments and equipment to the EU in the future
Based on the findings of the report, the ISM is calling on the government to negotiate an extension of the Brexit transition period for two years beyond December 2020.
The organisation is also urging the government to negotiate a two-year, multi-entry touring visa for musicians that is "cheap and admin light".
Other demands include asking the government to maintain European health insurance as provided by the EHIC scheme or provide an equivalent, and to ensure that UK copyright laws are "not undermined by post-Brexit future trade deals with the United States or any other nations".
Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said: "The UK music sector, which contributes £5.2 billion to the economy each year, is facing ruin from the dual threats of Covid-19 and Brexit.
"For many years, the ISM has been highlighting how essential it is for professional musicians to work easily across the EU. In this time of great uncertainty, musicians need to know that their livelihoods will be protected."
Annetts added: "Going straight from Covid-19 to the end of the transition period without ensuring enough time to negotiate new trading agreements will be devastating for the music profession and the wider music and creative industries.
"Therefore, to avoid irreversible damage, we call for the government to recover some of the time lost to Covid-19 by requesting an extension to the transition period."