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Leading music industry figures and concert hauliers have joined forces to urge the government to secure a ‘cultural easement’ that will allow UK firms to continue touring across the EU, warning that the industry faces ruin in the wake of Brexit and the pandemic.


According to Motor Transport, in a letter to the Prime Minister, the group said ‘unworkable’ new cabotage (the right to operate sea, air, or other transport services within a particular territory) and cross trade rules which only allow British-registered trucks three stops in Europe before having to return to the UK will stop the delivery of European concert tours and other musical performances.

Colin Greenwood, bassist with rock band Radiohead said: “The new bureaucracy could threaten the livelihoods of thousands of British citizens who make the UK events industry a success story. Live music is a vital part of our country’s economy.

“It’s important that Government offers support by helping haulage operators deal with the new documentation following Brexit, including the new European driving permits, new customs permits that they’re going to need, and all the new red tape.” 

The letter stated that there will be a high demand for events, including exhibitions, festivals, concerts and live music, following the pandemic. But these will only be possible with the continued services of specialist hauliers.

It urged for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider a ‘Cultural Easement’, that would allow hauliers to continue undertaking EU-wide movements for concert and event industries.

“Without specialist concert and events trucks, hundreds of suppliers employing thousands of skilled crews will be unable to provide their services around Europe on music tours undertaken by UK and international musicians,” the letter said.

It added that support form the government will ensure the UK retains its ability to service the industry in the future, as well as saving thousands of jobs and livelihoods.

The signatories also called for short-term financial support for concert hauliers, and a ‘last resort’ grants option for firms to set up bridgehead operations in the EU until easements are agreed.

The events industry contributes £70 billion a year to the UK economy.

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