Welcoming Labour shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ pledge on EU touring, UK Music has urged party leaders to “fix the European touring crisis”.

In a keynote speech on Labour’s plans for business, Reeves pledged that a future Labour administration’s plans would include “an agreement on touring visas”.

Responding to the pledge, UK Music’s interim CEO Tom Kiehl outlined the challenges facing UK artists, crew and other music professionals touring the EU post-Brexit and urged party leaders to work together to resolve the problems.

He said, “Nobody voted to leave the European Union in order to make life harder for touring musicians and their crew, yet Brexit has undoubtedly made it more costly and complex for both established and emerging artists to perform in key European countries.

“It is welcome that the Shadow Chancellor is committed to seeking an agreement on touring visas and we urge other key figures in the General Election campaign to do the same to achieve a cross-party consensus that will fix the European touring crisis.”

In 2022, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, with the support of UK Music, published the Let the Music Move – A New Deal for Touring report, which outlined the problems and listed a series of actions the Government to take action to help UK musicians and crew tour Europe more easily. It warned that UK music workers faced “more costs, more complications and getting fewer opportunities” after the UK left the EU at the end of January 2020.