Daily Left News

The European Movement UK, the nation’s largest pro-Europe movement which seeks to restore relations with European neighbours post-Brexit, has moved its ‘Face the Music’ campaign up a gear. The campaigners are plastering their message on billboards across the country.

The billboard campaign is designed to drive home the battles musicians are facing because of Brexit red tape. The UK’s music industry – a cultural and creative powerhouse worth £1.1bn to the UK economy – has witnessed a decline in talent, post-Brexit, as up-and-coming stars are leaving Britain to live and work in Europe. Freelance artists are being shut out of work as they no longer have an EU passport. Instrument manufacturers are losing EU customers because of rising export costs.

Being home to iconic music venues such as the Royal Opera House and the Roadhouse, the European Movement UK started the billboard campaign in London. They are now taking the giant posters to other UK cities with rich music heritages, including Manchester, Liverpool, and Bristol.

The organisation informs how from punk rock to opera, musicians to venues, tour managers, technicians and more, “everyone we have spoked to is feeling the pinch.”

“The knock-on effect on our vibrant music scene, our cultural influence across Europe, and our economy, is enormous.  

“So that’s why we’ve launched this attention-grabbing billboard campaign – to bring these struggles out of the shadows, raise awareness, and build pressure on the government to face the music.

The group says that pragmatic negotiations with EU countries could remove the friction, endless paperwork and extra costs that artists are facing.

The billboards are part of the European Movement UK’s Face the Music project and petition, which calls on the UK government to negotiate a bilateral agreement, which will guarantee visa-free travel for UK artists in Europe, and EU artists in the UK.

The movement told LFF that the campaign is causing quite a stir.

“Launched less than 4 weeks ago on February 6, it’s already garnered 24,000 signatures to the petition, and seen tens of thousands of views for our short films that highlight the personal stories of artists and musicians in the post-freedom of movement world. 

“The billboards have been well received by the public. We’ve had conversations with people while out taking pictures, explaining to them the situation. The online reaction has also been very positive. Face The Music is, above all, necessary. Our world-class music industry is hamstrung to the point of ruin by the loss of freedom of movement for artists. Work lost. Tours cancelled. Talent moving abroad. Reputation shredded. Small bands shut out of touring. 

“We are looking at doing billboards in other cities. Watch this space.”

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

Image credit: European Movement UK

The post European Movement UK launches giant billboard campaign to raise awareness of musicians’ struggles post-Brexit appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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