miércoles, 14 de junio de 2017

BREXIT'S NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WILL WEAKEN THE UK'S SOFT POWER

Mark Kitcatt
Mark Kitcatt is CEO and part owner of independent music company Everlasting Popstock and has a long and successful track record in the music industry. Based in Madrid since the 1990s, Mark is concerned about the impact of Brexit on music and musicians, as well as its effect on the citizens' rights of UK nationals living in the EU like himself. A member of the association EuroCitizens, he is organising 'Música sin Fronteras'. This concert on Saturday 24 June, exactly a year after the results of the Brexit referendum, will be held in the mythical venue Sala El Sol with three talented and cosmopolitan young musicians: John Grvy, Alex Roddom and Rob Picazo.

EuroCitizens: How is Brexit going to affect the music industry?

MK: I came to Spain in the early nineties, before EU directives on free movement came into force. That changed the whole music business. Suddenly, bands could move around freely, play concerts anywhere in the EU and sell their merchandise with no problems. Since then, for UK bands, virtually all Europe has been an open market. It costs the same for a group to play in Milan as in Manchester, or in Alicante as in Aberdeen. The single market has thus given British music a huge competitive advantage.

EuroCitizens: So what will happen with a hard Brexit and the UK's departure from this single market?

MK: All these advantages will be lost overnight and we may go back to the bad old days of visas and work permits. This will dramatically hit touring which is now the main source of income for most
musicians, since the increase in piracy. Of course, the impact on young artists who are starting out will be even harder. The UK will also suffer as a destination for creators from Spain and the rest of Europe if barriers to free movement go up.

EuroCitizens: You are a member of independent music associations such as IMPALA, UFI and WIN. Have you had any reaction from the UK government about your concerns?

MK: Frankly, they just don't seem to know what is going to happen and we have received no clear answers. As with their dealings with citizens' groups like EuroCitizens and British in Europe, all our contacts with them have been cloaked in secrecy. Things are not looking good.

EuroCitizens: As a UK national living in the EU, are you worried about your own future?

MK: I'm married to a Spaniard and my children have Spanish nationality, so I'm not worried about my personal future in this country. I always have the option of applying for Spanish nationality. However, since Brexit my eldest son has decided not to study at a UK university due to the uncertainty that has arisen. I also know several young Britons in Spain who have not lived here very long and who may have to go back to the UK after Great Britain leaves the EU.

EuroCitizens: Do you think Brexit will have any other impact?

MK: Yes, it will dramatically reduce the UK's 'soft power', the influence it gains through pop music as well as through films and TV. English is the lingua franca of music and this enables Britain to have an enormous cultural impact in Europe. On top of that, the essence of modern music is of reaching across cultures and the mixing of different cultures. It is universal, is the antithesis of putting up barriers, walls and borders. Unfortunately, that is what the UK and the USA seem to be trying to do at the moment, to retreat from the world.
 

That's why we decided to call our concert on 24 June 'Música sin Fronteras'!

1 comentario:

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