"If you’re a festival organiser in Barcelona, British bands will be at the bottom of your list" - UK acts playing Euro festivals have nearly halved post-Brexit, estimates report

Benicassim, festival, Sapain
(Image credit: Xavi Torrent / Getty)

45% fewer British acts will feature in mainland Europe's first post-Brexit and Covid restriction-free festival season, according to a survey conducted by campaign group Best For Britain.

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The report, published ahead of a cross-party UK government commission meeting on challenges facing the UK music and travel industries, based its estimate on a review of bands booked to play at 3 major Euro festivals - Benicassim in Spain, Hungary's Sziget, and Lollapalloza in Germany. 

While that may not be a massively robust sample size, there's no doubt that artists and bands are facing real difficulties in planning and completing European mainland jaunts.

Whoever ends up replacing Boris Johnson must commit to removing this needless bureaucracy

Deborah Annetts, Incorporated Society of

"Appallingly run"
In April, White Lies cancelled a Paris gig after their rig was detained by customs officials, leading the band to decry “an appallingly-run government system in the UK,” while industry luminaries such as Elton John, Radiohead and Biffy Clyro have been vocal in calling for the UK government to work with the EU to simplify rules on travel and customs.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and UK Trade and Business Commissioner, said, “Previous witnesses to our commission have described how, if you’re a festival organiser in Barcelona who needs to fill a last minute slot, British bands will be at the bottom of your list due to new barriers created by this botched Brexit deal."

“Whoever ends up replacing Boris Johnson must commit to removing this needless bureaucracy which is stifling the prosperity and creativity of the next generation of British musicians.”

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.