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What will Brexit mean for DJs?
Posted By : Alex Powell
|
Posted Date : October 22nd, 2018
Brexit happens early next year, but its impact upon musicians working in the EU remains unclear. We delve into the potential effects of the UK's departure from the European Union on DJs, and what new laws might mitigate against them...

At 11 pm on the 29th March next year, the Article 50 clock runs out and the UK will leave the European Union (EU). A quick recap for those of you who haven't been paying attention: in 1973, the UK joined the European Economic Community, which would later become the EU. It was a grouping of European countries, initially set up after the horrors of World War II as an attempt to pool resources, promote trade and maintain peace between the member states. In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU. In the two years since then, the UK government has not managed to put together a comprehensive and workable Brexit deal, leaving both the details and the bigger picture for industries in post-Brexit UK uncertain. This is certainly true for the music industry in general and dance music in particular, where the impact of Brexit on DJs and performers currently making a considerable part of their living in Europe is unclear. Many of the bigger DJs and acts also have production staff, lighting crews, sound engineers, road crews, drivers, agents, artist liaisons, promoters and managers, all of whom will be affected by Brexit.

Under current EU law, and specifically the principle of free movement of people, UK residents are free to travel, work and reside in any other EU country. EU membership also confers many automatic rights and protections, such as access to health services, cancelled flight compensation and the right to be paid at the same rate as local DJs. If a UK citizen gets a DJ gig in Europe, you don't need a visa or a permit, you don't need to prove you're a performer, crossing national borders is simple, you'll receive medical care if needed and you can drive a car in Europe if you've passed your test.


'I think a lot of people take for granted just how easy it is to travel and work across the EU, because that right has been there since the whole touring DJ thing took off' - HUXLEY


If you get a last minute booking, you can book a flight and go. Because of our membership of the EU, DJing in Europe, be it a single night or fully-fledged tour, is remarkably easy compared to gigging in the rest of the world. The UK government has repeatedly stated that the free movement of people will end when we exit the EU. Theresa May's 'Chequers Plan' for Brexit restated this, but also included something called a 'mobility framework' to facilitate ease of travel, work and study between the UK and the EU. However, as yet the details of this are unclear, the plan's acceptance by the EU far from certain - and the post-Brexit situation remains ambiguous. Instead, the music industry finds itself in a strange no-man's- land, where our government is repeatedly telling us that freedom of movement is definitely ending, without the industry knowing what, if anything, will replace it.

For the larger music business, this is an issue too big to ignore. The UK's professional musicians body, the Incorporated Society Of Musicians (ISM) released a report in July of this year, drawing attention to the significant difficulties faced by performers when travelling outside of the EU (it is generally held that DJs come under the umbrella term 'musicians and performers'). They carried out three substantial surveys of the UK musician community and found that, of all the respondents who had experienced difficulties travelling outside the EU for work, 79% specified that the difficulty was with visas.

To find out more and read the rest of this article. Head to DJ Mag.
djmag.com/content/what-will-brexit-mean-uk-djs

 

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