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ELTON WEIGHS IN ON EU TOURING “MESS”

Elton John has weighed in on the European touring situation, warning the U.K. government that the music industry is in “grave danger of losing a generation of talent” due to the “gaping holes” in its trade deal with the EU following Brexit.

In a statement posted on Instagram, John said that if he had faced the financial and logistical obstacles now facing young British musicians who want to tour in wider Europe, “I’d never have had the opportunity to build the foundations of my career and I very much doubt I would be where I am today.” 

He added that the timing for finding solutions is now imperative. “Despite this looming catastrophe, the Government seems unable or unwilling to fix this gaping hole in their trade deal and defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess. The situation is already critical and touring musicians, crews and support staff are already losing their livelihood.”

John’s statement was read aloud Thursday at a Select Committee hearing on the impact of the Government’s trade agreement with the EU, and the lack of visa-free touring for the music industry.

Music agent and promoter Craig Stanley of Marshall Arts also gave evidence at the session, saying that American acts will start to move their touring operations out of the U.K. to Amsterdam and Germany and there’s a “real danger” that British orchestras may have to stop touring internationally due to visa requirements and limits on road haulage. 

In May, a survey revealed that nearly 80% of British musicians expect their earnings in Europe to decrease once restrictions are lifted and 42% would consider relocating in order to continue working.

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