Festivals could face a “perfect storm” this year because of Brexit, an industry leader has said.
Paul Reed, chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals, warned that festivals this summer are likely to be hit by issues such as labor shortages and supply chain crises, meaning that it won’t be “business as usual”.
At the 2022 AIF Festival Congress, he said the industry had lost skilled workers and faced rising overall costs of up to 30% – calling a government scheme to help the industry ‘not fit for purpose’. his goal”.
Perfect storm warning – but here’s what the government could do
“We are facing a perfect storm in many ways,” he said, according to The Independent.
He added: “We may be emerging from the shadow of the pandemic in the UK, but this year will not be a case of ‘back to business as usual’ without critical support for festival organisers.”
Reed called on the government to maintain VAT relief on festival tickets beyond March and a scheme to encourage supplier investment.
He also said the government should not reduce tax incentives for certain biofuels, to encourage greener fuels at live events.
And while Reed cited a ‘very difficult time’ for festivals in the UK, last month it was revealed that only one of the 27 EU countries had agreed to sign a deal with the UK. in an effort to save post-Brexit music touring.
“Mountains of paperwork” for musicians because of Brexit
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised last March to resolve the bureaucratic problems faced by musicians, only Spain has signed an agreement since.
Deborah Annetts, Managing Director of ISM, said: “The industry now faces mountains of red tape, which is both costly and time-consuming.
“Proposed solutions such as bilateral agreements with EU states have not materialized, with the exception of Spain, and there are serious problems with cabotage, carnets and designated ports.
“All of these issues have a negative impact on the UK music industry and wider creative industries, which are worth £116bn a year, just like finance or construction.”
Opera singer Dame Sarah Connolly warned last year that the UK’s creative industries would lose their competitiveness in a post-Brexit world – but although she feels ‘furious’ at the situation the UK’s creative industries find themselves in musicians, she said she predicted it.
She added: “The sad reality is that young performers don’t have the opportunity to work in Europe, they can’t settle there. We lose 27 countries, while the Europeans only miss Great Britain.
“However, I will also miss the Europeans here because they add to the diversity.
“European students will no longer choose the London Conservatory. London will no longer be one of the artistic capitals of Europe, because already European students no longer come here. This is all going to get very myopic.
Related: ‘Thank you Brexit for this:’ Great British Railways’ new logo is ‘awful’ – reactions