UK’s mu­si­cal stars rail against ‘botched Brexit’

The Observer - - Front Page - Nosheen Iqbal

Some of the coun­try’s most cel­e­brated com­posers, pro­duc­ers and per­form­ers have joined to­gether to is­sue a stark warn­ing that the “vast voice” of the mu­sic in­dus­try will be si­lenced in­side a “self-built cul­tural jail” if Bri­tain crashes out of the EU.

An an­gry open let­ter to the prime min­is­ter drafted by Bob Geldof claims “a botched Brexit” will wreak havoc and se­ri­ously dam­age a creative sec­tor worth an es­ti­mated £4.4bn a year. Its sig­na­to­ries in­clude Da­mon Al­barn, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, John Eliot Gar­diner, Bobby Gille­spie, Howard Goodall, Johnny Marr, Nick Ma­son, Alan McGee, Rita Ora, Wil­liam Or­bit, Si­mon Rat­tle, Ed Sheeran, Paul Si­monon, Neil Ten­nant, Roger Tay­lor and Sting.

Geldof cir­cu­lated the let­ter to his con­tacts, a roll-call of Bri­tain’s rock and classical es­tab­lish­ment, un­der the sub­ject header “Towards a 2nd vote”. To­gether, they urge Theresa May to recog­nise that Brexit will “im­pact ev­ery as­pect of the mu­sic in­dus­try. From tour­ing to sales, to copy­right leg­is­la­tion to roy­alty col­la­tion.”

Their let­ter states: “We dom­i­nate the mar­ket and our bands, singers, mu­si­cians, writ­ers, pro­duc­ers and en­gi­neers work all over Europe and the world and in turn, Europe and the world come to us. Why? Be­cause we are bril­liant at it ... [Our mu­sic] reaches out, all in­clu­sive, and em­braces any­one and ev­ery­one. And that truly is what Bri­tain is.”

Pho­to­graph by Doug Pe­ters/PA

Si­mon Rat­tle is one of the sig­na­to­ries to a let­ter warn­ing of the cul­tural im­pact of Brexit.

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