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SPAIN SCRAPS TOURING VISAS
11/17/21

The touring situation in Europe for British acts has just got a little easier with Spain announcing that it no longer requires visas for short-term engagements, thanks in part to months of lobbying from trade orgs.

Spain has been a big problem for British touring parties in recent months due to a host of onerous rules. Previously, artists and promoters had to make applications for short-term visas entirely in Spanish, provide itinerary details prior to getting the green light for the tour to proceed and give proof of applicant earnings of up to nearly £1k.

Costs were prohibitive, amounting to more than £10k for an orchestra to visit Spain for up to five days. Touring artists and their production teams were also required to wait over a month for a decision, making long-term scheduling difficult.

Thanks to work done by trade body LIVE, the Association for British Orchestras (ABO) and Spanish counterparts Asociación Promotores Musicales, the visa requirement is no longer in place.

Challenges still remain: There’s a three-stop limit to U.K. touring vehicles before they have to return to home and an expensive goods passport (a “carnet”), including a bond for instruments and equipment. A host of complications are also still in place in other EU touring states.

As such, Craig Stanley, Chair of the LIVE Touring Group, celebrated the news but called on the U.K. Government to "follow our lead and urgently work to fix the rules with the remaining member states so that we can continue to tour across the entirety of the European Union.”