“Music is one of Britain’s greatest cultural exports. It’s a £5.8bn industry that got left out of the Brexit trade negotiations when others weren’t.”
New paperwork and costs for touring musicians include the need to obtain visas or work permits for each country in the European Union, and a customs document for the movement of equipment such as musical instruments.
John described his band’s 1966 residency at a club in Hamburg as a “real baptism of fire” and lamented that young musicians now are unlikely to get that chance.
He called the new regulations “an administrative nightmare” and said it was “absolutely vital for new artists to tour Europe” to nurture their talent.
The pop and rock icon added: “I don’t want to live in a world where the only artists who can afford to tour properly are those who have been going for decades and have already sold millions of records...
"We need a new generation of superstars, not least because one generation of superstars – my generation – are getting older, retiring and dying off.”
To help rectify this issue, John proposed a short-term fix of setting up an organisation to provide artists with access to lawyers and accountants and support them in navigating touring problems created by Brexit.
While on stage in Verona during his world tour in 2019, the singer said: “I am ashamed of my country for what it has done. It’s torn people apart… I am sick to death of politicians, especially British politicians.
“I am sick to death of Brexit. I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot.”
And, in 2018, he claimed: “I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth to start with… They were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn’t economically viable.”
Social media users praised John for advocating on behalf of smaller-name musicians in his latest comments.
Would be easy for a star as big as @eltonofficial to not care about new artists. Glad he's using his voice to make… https://t.co/KZuyccJVSM
— Sarah Marie Graye, Author (@Sarah Marie Graye, Author)
Kudos to Elton John for speaking out about the consequences of Brexit on up & coming EU-touring musicians. We need… https://t.co/nk5xfFACzJ