A host of household names from the world of music have joined several leading industry bodies in calling on the government for an alternative to Brexit.
Stars signing the letter drafted by Music4EU include Oscar winner Annie Lennox, Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Brit-award winning pop star Paloma Faith and Grammy and Emmy award-winning film composer David Arnold.
And industry bodies supporting the initiative include the Musicians Union, the Association of Independent Music, Music Managers Forum, British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors and the Music Producers Guild.
Signatories from the music management sector include Ed Sheeran’s manager of seven years Stuart Camp, management company Raw Power, who represent At The Drive-In, Bullet For My Valentine and punk veterans The Damned, and Fleet River Management,who represent four-time Grammy-winners the Chemical Brothers.
Some of Britain’s most celebrated new talents are also backing the letter including Nadine Shah and Public Service Broadcasting.
The letter says that ‘Brexit represents a significant threat to the UK’s music industry’ and that ‘in the post-Brexit UK, there is a clear risk that reaching consumers and fans will be more expensive, and international markets will be harder to access’.
It adds that “no-one voted for this situation, whether they voted Leave or Remain. It is critical to find a way out of this mess, and therefore we ask you to examine alternative options to maintain our current influence and freedom to trade”.
Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate Digital and co-organiser of Music4EU said: ‘Rarely do so many factions within the music industry unite on any subject, but Music4EU’s signatory list so far is a clear indication of the level of concern over the current mess, and how widely it impacts every corner of this sector.
“Brexit is an unmitigated disaster for Britain’s world-leading music industry.’
Sam Duckworth, who performs as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly said that “diminishing rights and barriers to trade should be a thing of the past”.
He said: “We need to make sure we don’t isolate ourselves from our wider cultural family. Be it sharing a stage, a marketplace or as part of a team, Brexit is causing mass uncertainty.
“Music is a big part of the economy and is the frontline of the warm British welcome. It is essential that we are given clear guidelines, promises and safeguards for this to continue.’
Paul Pacifico, the CEO of AIM, said that “in a moment when we need balance most, Brexit seems to play to the most divisive and negative instincts of our representatives across the political spectrum”.
He said: “In this atmosphere of hardening dogma, we must not sacrifice the future of our creative economy and the people and small businesses that are its lifeblood. We can too easily take for granted that British music has a special place in the world and for several decades it has punched above its weight.
“We must take care that any next steps in Brexit do not diminish our potential to excel across both the world’s cultural and commercial landscapes. The music industry delivered £4.5bn to the economy last year, and yet it feels like so far we have been utterly ignored in the Brexit deal.
“We therefore renew our call on all sides to include the specific provisions we need to continue to thrive.”
Any UK-based musicians or music industry professionals can add their individual or company support to the letter by visiting https://music4eu.com/letter. Music4EU is a grassroots group from the UK music sector calling for a meaningful alternative to Brexit.