Comment of the Day: UK musicians are charged out of EuropeComment Of The Day
A Slippedisc comment from a UK arts administrator:
If orchestras can’t actually afford to play any more in countries where they used to get good, profitable work (work that kept them and their musicians afloat) because of substantial costs involved in new visa regulations – additionally noting that this work used heftily to subsidise work in the UK – then it is hard to see how anyone can “make it a success”.
The average orchestral player or pro chorus singer – freelancers, almost all of them – gets paid a fee of around £160 per day. But now, as example, if to give a concert in Spain on a tour costs an additional €232 (plus the unpaid half day spent going to the embassy to get the necessary visa) with the promoter in Spain unable to find substantial extra funding for (say) 60 visas, the concert becomes uneconomic. So the date is lost to the UK orchestra.
Multiply that situation across hundreds of dates that used to be there in Spain, all now falling around our ears (with dates in 2023 already evaporating as there are long lead times in touring), then add extra visa costs for performing in Belgium, Switzerland (it may be non-EU but UK musicians now fall foul of rules there), Italy, half the Balkan countries, etc etc, that’s one heck of a hole in the UK’s Arts balance sheet, and one heck of a hole in the already precarious income of hard-pressed freelance musicians.
If you can tell us how people working in UK Arts can resolve that, please, please tell us. No-one else has yet managed to work that one out, so, please give us your sunny solution so we can “make it a success”.