Brexit: What’s next for Outdoor Arts?

The current uncertainty about Brexit has meant that many UK artists have reported a reduction in bookings from European promoters. It is clear that UK artists want to continue touring in Europe, just as UK festivals and promoters want to continue to invite artists from Europe to work in the UK.

We are working hard to ensure that we continue to maintain strong relationships with our valued partners and colleagues across Europe. We would like to reassure European promoters that nothing will change for the duration of the transition period, until the end of 2020 – so UK/European touring can take place as usual. From January 2021 things may change – but XTRAX will work with others in the arts sector to advocate for unrestricted touring for artists both ways, both European artists coming into the UK from Europe and touring outwards from the UK.

For many in the arts sector, this is a worrying time, not least for the UK and EU citizens who are living and working across the UK and Europe. At XTRAX we are proud to have Catalan/Spanish, Italian, French and German colleagues so we understand the personal impact that Brexit is having on peoples’ lives.

We will be hosting some informative sessions and webinars around Brexit, as well as publishing some guidance notes for artists and festivals. For now, please read on below for more information on the current situation. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about any updates.

UK artists touring to Europe after Brexit

The UK officially left the EU on 31st January 2020. The implementation period will last until the 31st December 2020, so nothing will change during 2020.

This means that for promoters booking artists for performances in 2020, there is no need to worry about additional costs or logistical issues.

After December 2020, arrangements depend on the deal between the EU and UK Government. The Arts sector is lobbying to ensure that artists can continue to tour with no disruption.

AFTER December 2020, IF THERE IS NO DEAL, artists may need:

  • Work permits/visas
  • A Carnet for any set or props needed for a show
  • Additional travel time to get through customs
  • Additional insurances, drivers licences and permits

In the case of small-scale companies who don’t need to bring any set or props, it is unlikely that there would be any additional costs to the promoter. Larger companies or those with sets/freight may need to pass on the cost of carnets or visas.

If a deal is secured, we hope these issues will be addressed so none of this will be a problem. Check the site for details on the transition.

For bookings after 31st December 2020, until such time as the deal is clarified, we advise:

  • Artists and promoters should include in the contract who will pay for visas and carnets, if they are required
  • Promoters may want to consider setting the fees to UK artists in Pounds sterling, rather than Euros. It is likely that the value of the Pound sterling £ may decline in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, and if this happens then this could represent better value for European promoters

Support from XTRAX: 

  • We will publish further information on our website and provide Brexit preparedness sessions
  • We can offer support in English, German, French, Spanish, Catalan and Italian. Call +44 (0)161 227 8383 or email

Image credits: Les Gloriables by Spitz & Co. © Mary Doggertt



Contact Annika to find out what support we can provide at