How Will Brexit Impact the Leisure & Entertainment Sectors?

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Written by Roy Butcher

How Will Brexit Impact the Leisure & Entertainment Sectors?

How Will Brexit Impact the Leisure & Entertainment Sectors?

In the first lockdown, we had Joe Wick's jumping jacks, excessive banana bread making, Tiger King and Zoom quizzes galore. The Crown and many other original offerings by Netflix, kept us entertained whilst stuck indoors during the second lockdown, but now that we have entered a third, who knows what's next.

All sectors have been hit hard, but none more so than the Leisure and Entertainment Industry. An industry that relies heavily on social interaction, was always going to be impacted by tight restrictions placed on how we can interrelate socially with one another.

People are social creatures by nature, and we all long for “normal” to return. But let’s be honest, normal is likely to be so very different than what we once knew. 

Live music for instance, which is one of my personal passions, has worked hard to adapt to these lockdown restrictions by embracing new communication technologies. With all the famous concert venues and stadiums closed for most of 2020, some producers of live events began to use improved digital platforms to stay connected to their audiences. 

It has become a time when consumer pace has significantly changed, and demand for online entertainment has accelerated. Businesses in this sector that have adapted and shown agility, have seen some wins during these times, and will certainly bounce back once this has all ended. 

The Leisure & Entertainment industry is so important to our health and wellbeing, and that’s the flip side to all this. We know how devastating this has been in terms of the overall economic outlook, but it’s the impact on us as a society and our mental health, which could be the biggest cost to our society from all of this. 

So to continue on this cheery theme, as we all remain with these limitations caused by this pandemic, the industry now has the added complexities of a new trade deal with the EU, following our departure on the 1st January 2021.

What Will Change For The Leisure & Entertainment Industry Due To Brexit?

Continuing to look at live music specifically, the government states it tried to secure better conditions for UK touring musicians during the Brexit talks, but its proposals were rejected by the EU.

From 1st January 2021, the free movement of people between the UK and the EU will end. Therefore, touring musicians and their technical crews will face new rules and subjected to additional visa costs and paperwork. Music executives are reporting that entire tours could now be at risk, as a result. 

What Does The Deal Say?

Previously UK nationals were able to move freely within the EU, they will now need a visa for stays of longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, and there may be restrictions on their activities.

While three months may seem enough to cover most bands' European tours, matters may be complicated by the fact there are different rules in place depending on which EU country they visit.

What Does The Industry Need?

The UK music industry contributes circa £6bn to the UK economy. Live music accounted for about 20% of that figure prior to 2020, although the industry as we know has been crushed by the coronavirus pandemic since then.

UK Music, a lobbying group that represents the industry, reacted to this news by saying it "welcomed" the securement of a Brexit deal. However, they did go on to comment further, that the government "now needs to ensure the ability of our workforce to move freely around Europe". 

Clearly, the industry requires the Government to negotiate a reciprocal arrangement with the EU, to allow not just musicians, but the many skilled technicians required to support these tours, to work freely both in the UK and countries within the EU.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us today or get in touch with our Leisure & Entertainment sector specialist - Roy Butcher directly at 

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