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Ray Gelato – Professional Sax player and long-established, notable band leader.
Proposed short tour of Spain.
Musicians involved: 7
Fees earned: 3000 euros per show. 430 Euros per player. GBP £2574.57 or £369.02 per player per show.
Promoter covers the Hotels, travel and meals.
Withholding tax 10%.
The biggest barrier to these shows taking place is the Visa issue. Due to the complexity of the Spanish Visa system a visa agent is needed. So, whilst a C visa cost of 113.00 euros applies to each musician, there has to be a visit made to the embassy in the UK for an interview and an Agent is needed to process the visa which makes the fee per musician more like £400, just to get the visa.
This cost and associated costs impact on the fees available to the musicians and calls into questions the validity of undertaking the shows in the first place. This loss of work and income is a major negative impact of BREXIT, being experienced by musicians across the UK
In Ray’s own words: ‘Spain and Italy were two of our biggest earners. There was no issue before and I totally resent the hoops that we are being made to jump through so there is a principal here too . Not the mention the huge extra costs.
‘this pandemic has been very tough and the mental stress has been huge for many of us. It’s tough to deal with the extra layer of stress and uncertainty that Brexit has caused. I will consider quitting music full time if something is not sorted out as the aggravation and extra costs of running my long-established band will just be too much. I think many of us feel the same. ‘
In Summary and, best in the words of those most affected, Ray adds: ‘The visa costs will more than certainly make these gigs not feasible . Even if we didn’t use an agent and did it on the Spanish site, the cost would be a further £ 800 for my seven piece band. This is almost as much as the air tickets and money is tight all around at the moment. It’s also unfair for the promoters in Spain to find this cost as they too are struggling to rebuild during this pandemic, as we all are .
Just imagine when touring starts up again? How on earth is any artist going to work in Spain or Italy with these insane costs. Not to mention the time, effort and stress required in order to supply all the info required for these visas . It’s simply not going to happen in reality.
If this is not resolved it will most certainly drive my band, and I imagine many others out of the business as we rely on European gigs and festivals for the main part of our income .
I’ve worked hard for 35 years in order to build up contacts in Italy and Spain and it’s sad that these draconian, costly restrictions are now in place .
Musicians after this pandemic need all of the help they can get. The last thing we need are costly measures that will restrict us from carrying out our trade.’
Musicians’ Union June 2021.