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MU Responds to Government Announcement on Visa-Free Short-Term Touring in Some Member States

The MU cautiously welcomes the Government’s announcement – made on Wednesday 4 August – that visa-free short-term touring is allowed in 19 member states, but it does not solve many of the problems currently facing musicians touring in the EU.

Published: 05 August 2021 | 1:25 PM Updated: 05 August 2021 | 6:05 PM
Photograph of a pile of touring creates, behind a large metal fence.
The MU has been pushing the Government to negotiate with member states to avoid the need for work permits and remove the barriers that currently exist. Photo credit: Shutterstock

We are aware that the Government made an announcement yesterday on visa-free short-term touring being allowed in 19 member states.

Without seeing more detail, it remains unclear as to whether this is as a result of recent negotiations or simply a clarification of measures that have been in place for some time.

Whilst we welcome that the Government is working on these issues, firstly the list of 19 countries does not include important territories like Spain where we know that musicians are having major issues with touring. Secondly, the announcement makes no mention of crew, drivers, carnets or fees for moving equipment. Thirdly, there is not necessarily consistency between the 19 states, so some may require paperwork or limit the number of days of work.

The MU has been pushing the Government to negotiate with member states to avoid the need for work permits and remove the barriers that currently exist around cabotage, customs and transport. There is therefore still a lot of work to be done, though it is encouraging that the Government refers to talks in progress with eight territories. The MU will follow up to see how these are progressing and how we can input.

We are also working on further guidance for our members based on all the briefings we attend on Brexit issues. For further information, see our Flowchart Guide to Working in Europe.

Touring in the EU? Let us know how it goes

The Government is now saying that touring can now take place in 19 EU countries without the need for visas and work permits.

We would like to let them know if any MU members have problems in these territories so that adjustments can be made. Therefore if you are working in any of the following countries and you encounter issues please contact us and let us know by emailing

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden

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