Music & the Performing Arts: A Sector in Jeopardy

Alastair MacColl | 16 March 2021

© 2018 SCER

Since the end of the transition period with the EU, it’s clear that the impact on musicians and the performing arts could be devastating. Limiting the ability of Scottish artists to tour freely in Europe and making European artist much less likely to visit the UK.

The failure to agree exemptions and access arrangements for this crucially important sector has resulted in a potentially massive jump in costs, increased bureaucracy and a range of practical barriers to performing across Europe. With negative consequences for artists, venues, supply chains and audiences, it threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands and disadvantages us all; economically, socially and culturally .

This is an expanding industry worth £10 bn per annum across the UK and it’s facing an existential threat as the result of Brexit and yet another “blind spot” in the withdrawal agreement.

So eu+me are launching a new campaign with a coalition of artists, industry insiders, trade organisations and partners to signal that the current position is damaging and unsustainable. It requires urgent action. We’re asking the politicians and decision makers to get back round the table with the EU immediately and agree new conditions that remove the barriers that now exist.

The campaign launched on Monday 15th with the premiere of a film featuring artists like Iona Fyfe, Phil Cunningham, Heron Valley and many others. Along with key figures like Alex Reedijk from Scottish Opera and Jeffrey Sharkey from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As Alex says in the film “It feels like a drawbridge has been dropped down…please lift the drawbridge”.

We’re getting in touch with all MPs, MSPs, MEPs and national/local media with those simple demands. Please, amplify our message through all your social media channels and networks and get in touch with us at to tell us what you think (where you can also see the film) or contact us at @EUandMeCampaign.


Alastair MacColl| Twitter


Alastair MacColl is Director of eu+me. Alastair now also acts as a non-executive Director and adviser to a number of businesses and organisations.