Music News

So What Does the Brexit Mean for Music? Good Question.

Time to bring out the famous headline “Fog in Channel. Continent Cut Off. ”

Early this morning, we learned that Britain voted to leave the EU. Markets are roiling, companies are nervous and people are unsure what comes next. And yes, music will be impacted once the UK divorces itself from the EU.

  1. No more passport-free movement between the UK and the continent. It’s back to the old bureaucracy of acquiring working visas. That’ll hurt the touring industry, especially with smaller bands with tight budgets.
  2. Currency fluctuations between the pound and the euro will make touring harder to plan.
  3. For big bands, it’ll make chartering jets out of the UK more difficult in terms of costs and paperwork.
  4. Music companies liked being based in Britain because that gave them a friendly beachhead into Europe in a stable English-speaking country. Not anymore. What about all the British music companies with offices in Europe and vice versa? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of employees involved.
  5. Investment in tech companies could slow in both directions. And since music and tech now go hand-in-hand…
  6. Music tourism in Britain is worth billions of dollars. Will this deter people from the continent from coming across the channel?
  7. This will have some kind an impact on copyright protection and enforcement. The UK can pursue its own course free from what Brussels wants.
  8. What about cultural quotas? For example, might EU controls introduce regulations that limit how much non-EU makes it on the radio?

And that’s just the start. This is not going to be good for music.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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