Sep 10, 2021

Getting ALL European artists back on the road

Proposal for a cultural area permit scheme across multiple geographical groupings, July 2021

The European Union and its nearest neighbours across multiple geographical groupings share many aspects of aligned cultural and economic interest.

The cultural and creative sectors across greater Europe were the first to be hit by the Covid crisis and will be among the last to come out. In this context, live shows and touring being allowed again is their best shot at recovery. There would be significant mutual benefit to reducing costs and administrative burdens of current permit and licence schemes for cultural touring. This is particularly important for grass roots, emerging, and credible niche artists.

The independent music sector through IMPALA and artists represented by IAO are proposing a new scheme to get small and medium sized music tours back on the road quickly and effectively.

This would also reduce carbon footprint as tours can be routed more efficiently without the distortions that political boundaries can currently put in place.

Key benefits of Geographical European Cultural Area Touring – GECAT Pass:

  • Promote cultural exchange across multiple geographical blocs and countries
  • Promote diversity and mobility of talent and repertoire
  • Promote post-pandemic economic and social recovery
  • Increase opportunities for niche and emerging artists
  • Reduce admin and costs for emerging artists and small scale productions
  • Put solid and reliable framework around touring
  • Promote co-operation, security and peace
  • Reduce carbon footprint from touring by promoting more smaller toursFour key 4 asks to make the GECAT pass work:1. Single travel permit for cultural touring for performers and support teams
  • Annual and renewable work permit for creative workers on tour
  • Multiple geographical groupings making up the Geographical European Cultural Area
  • Single application in home country
  • Could limit the number of people per tour to cap eligible production size2. Single customs licence for equipment (“carnet”)
  • Reduced admin burden with a single check at first and last border
  • Including limited amount of stock to be sold at events without trading permits
  • Light touch regime, proportionate to the economic value
  • Let small scale tours happen easily – and legally3. Allow multiple stops before going home
    • Unlimited stops for equipment and people who are involved in cultural touring activity– could limit number and size of vehicles per tour for scale
    • Inclusion of dual use vehicles for people and goods (eg ‘splitter vans’)
    • Legalise normal cultural touring activity – especially for smaller tours4. Home country VAT on merchandise sold at events

• VAT paid in home country on return, for the small amounts included in customs licence