Brexit and the UK Live Music Industry


This chapter examines how the UK’s live music industry will be affected by ‘Brexit’ –withdrawal from the European Union (EU). The data suggest that live music is of significant value to the UK economy and point towards the importance of unobstructed access to the European market. While the music industries as a whole will be affected, a key focus is that of touring activities in the EU and the increasing administrative and financial costs arising from Brexit, which will hit smaller, upper-coming acts, and their crews, hardest. Another consideration is the impact on industry stakeholders at the local level, which we illustrate by way of research conducted on the live music ecology of Birmingham (UK) as an explanatory example. It is not only UK stakeholders (i.e. bands, orchestras, support crews) traveling to the EU that are affected but also those hosting the European artists and music tourists (i.e. venues and their staff, festivals, and production companies). The analysis suggests that future scenario to most effectively mitigate Brexit’s impact on live music will still need to be based on reciprocal agreements between the UK and EU.

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Policy