UK Indie Rock Musicians Face Financial Struggles Touring Europe

UK indie rock musicians are facing a financial crisis while touring Europe due to high costs, including petrol, merchandise, and accommodation expenses, which threatens the livelihoods of artists and the diversity of music offerings. The crisis, exacerbated by Brexit, has led to musicians taking on day jobs, canceling tours, and struggling to make a profit, with implications for the entire live music industry." This description focuses on the primary topic of the financial struggles of UK indie rock musicians touring Europe, the main entities involved (musicians, Brexit), the context of the live music industry, and the significant actions and consequences (financial crisis, day jobs, canceled tours). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as images of musicians on tour, concert venues, and financial documents.

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UK Indie Rock Musicians Face Financial Struggles Touring Europe

UK Indie Rock Musicians Face Financial Struggles Touring Europe

UK indie rock musicians are facing a financial crisis as they struggle to make a profit from touring Europe due to high costs. Over 100 musicians have shared their stories, revealing the challenges of covering expenses such as petrol, merchandise, and accommodation while on the road.

Why this matters: The financial struggles of UK indie rock musicians touring Europe have broader implications for the music industry as a whole, threatening the livelihoods of artists and the diversity of music offerings. If left unaddressed, this crisis could lead to a decline in the quality and quantity of live music experiences, ultimately affecting music fans and the cultural landscape.

Indie rock frontman Sam Griffiths, whose band the Howl & the Hum is preparing for an upcoming European tour, faces a daunting £24,990 in expenses against an income of only £14,664. Griffiths, who works a day job in administration for the NHS, has to manage the band's finances himself to avoid additional fees. "I haven't included little expenses we won't see coming. I'm having to work really hard to make sure that everyone gets paid," he said.

PJ Johnson's alt rock band Bug Teeth is in a similar predicament, with most of their earnings going towards petrol and accommodation. Johnson, who works as a copywriter, notes that many musicians have to use advances from labels to pay for production, which they may never recoup. "We still don't make enough money to record or tour as much as we need to become more widely known. Everything we earn goes on petrol and accommodation," Johnson said.

The financial strain has forced many musicians to take on day jobs to make ends meet. According to the Independent Society of Musicians, almost half of UK musicians have had less work in the EU post-Brexit, and 40% have had to cancel work in the EU due to increased travel and working costs. Visas, carnets, and other essential documentation for artists are expensive and prohibitively so in some cases.

Brexit has had a significant impact on touring, with musicians like Fiona Fey no longer gigging in Europe as often due to increased costs and decreased subsidies. "Brexit had a massive impact. We used to do festivals in places like Italy and Spain. They pay musicians better there," Fey said. Dean Glover, a Manchester-based producer, is concerned that musicians are being priced out of career success due to financial constraints.

The cost-of-touring crisis is not limited to grassroots music venues but also affects festivals, electronic music venues, academies, and arenas. Promoters are struggling to put on shows or make them financially viable due to high costs. A Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee report has recommended a comprehensive review of live and electronic music by the summer to examine the long-term challenges to the live music ecosystem.

The financial struggles faced by UK indie rock musicians touring Europe highlight the urgent need for support and solutions to ensure the viability of the live music industry. With rising costs and Brexit-related challenges, many talented artists are at risk of being unable to pursue their careers without taking on unsustainable financial burdens. As the music community awaits the findings of the proposed comprehensive review, it is clear that action must be taken to address this crisis and protect the future of live music in the UK and beyond.

Key Takeaways

  • UK indie rock musicians face financial crisis due to high touring costs in Europe.
  • Over 100 musicians shared stories of struggling to cover expenses like petrol, merchandise, and accommodation.
  • Brexit has increased travel and working costs, forcing many musicians to take on day jobs.
  • 40% of UK musicians have had to cancel EU work due to increased costs, with almost half experiencing less work.
  • A comprehensive review of live music is recommended to address the long-term challenges to the industry.