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UK artists will no longer need a visa when touring in Greece

By | Published on Friday 10 June 2022


UK artists playing shows in Greece will no longer need to secure visas following an announcement from the country’s government yesterday. It means one less bit of post-Brexit bureaucracy for British performers and crews to deal with when touring Europe, although plenty more paperwork still remains, of course.

The UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union did not include any EU-wide provision ensuring visa free touring for British performers. As a result, touring artists and their crews now need to negotiate different rules in each EU country when it comes to visas and permits, as well as additional rules around carnets and so called cabotage.

When it comes to visas and permits, in many countries national rules mean there isn’t actually any new paperwork to fill out if artists are just playing a few shows, but that isn’t true everywhere. And Greece was one of the countries where visas were required once the UK was no longer in the EU. But Greek Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, has announced that that will no longer be the case from next week.

The change to the rules – which is subject to review at the end of the year – comes after much liaison between Greek ministers and representatives of both the Greek and UK live industries, including members of the UK live sector trade group LIVE, like James Wright from United Talent Agency, Craig Stanley from Marshall Arts and Paul Fenn from The Entertainment Agents’ Association.

LIVE CEO Jon Collins welcomed the announcement, although noted that other bureaucratic challenges remain for British artists touring Europe. He told reporters: “This is a huge victory for both artists and fans, representing a further step towards the frictionless touring ecosystem needed by the live music sector”.

“The prohibitive costs and bureaucracy posed by visa regimes threaten the export and growth of budding talent from across the UK”, he added, “and while issues such as cabotage and carnets remain, we will continue to work on behalf of the sector to resolve these alongside our international counterparts”.

Meanwhile, Paul Fenn from The Entertainment Agents’ Association added: “We’re pleased to see that the diligent work of the LIVE Touring Group team coupled with the promoters in Greece quickly identified the problem that arose and managed to effectively target the lobbying in Athens to achieve a quick resolution”.