Blog

Ensuring immigration costs
don’t ruin your festival line up

Ensuring immigration costs don’t ruin your festival line up

Published: 10th August 2019
Area: Corporate & Commercial
Author: Tijen Ahmet

The UK is home to some of the best and most diverse festivals in the world, and usually the only concern is how good the weather will be. However, post-2021, the immigration system has the potential to shake things up.

Permit free festivals

Currently, EU talent can be booked with ease, including their travel to the UK, but this could all change. Some festivals have the honour of being ‘permit free festivals’, meaning anyone can perform there without sponsorship or a visa. So far, this list contains 42 events, but future uncertainty may cause this number to increase as more organisers apply.

31 October

This Halloween could be scarier than ever before, with free movement to the UK due to end. For migrants, artists, entertainers and musicians hailing from the EU, it means having to meet minimum criteria and apply through a new skills-based immigration system.

Permitted paid engagement is an option, which is where people can enter the UK for a month and be paid for their work, but some festivals do not come under the permitted timescale. Visas are another route; however, this can be costly, for both applicant and ‘employer’.

Festival organisers

As well as causing extra administration for performers, event organisers will also have to apply for a sponsor licence. Without one of these, they will not be able to recruit talent from outside the UK. For larger festivals, this should not be an issue financially, as they will have the means to apply for a group certificate that covers all artists involved. However, independent operators may find themselves disrupted by these surprise costs. As a result, festival organisers are asking the Government to re-assess how the post-2021 immigration system treats international talent.

Festivals are a huge part of British culture, and it’s important that they can continue to entertain us with acts from all around the globe. By understanding the proposed visa changes early on, event organisers can prepare themselves for any post-2021 repercussions in good time.

Back to Thoughts & Insights