Culture secretary

Sir Elton John calls for urgent meeting with new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries over visa rules

Sir Elton John calls for urgent meeting with new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries over post-Brexit visa rules which have hit musicians trying to tour the EU

  • The rock singer is pushing for the relaxation of the rules that came into force in 2021
  • They do not guarantee visa-free travel for block musicians
  • He argues it has a serious impact on young artists trying to build a career










Sir Elton John has called for an urgent meeting with new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries over post-Brexit rules which have hurt musicians’ ability to tour the EU.

The rock singer is pushing for the relaxation of rules that came into force at the start of 2021 which do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians on the block, arguing it has a serious impact on young artists trying to build a career.

Sir Elton held Zoom meetings with Ms Dorries’ predecessor Oliver Dowden and EU Relations Minister Lord Frost to discuss the issue of visa-free tours, but said he was not satisfied with insurance.

The rock singer is pushing for the relaxation of rules that came into effect at the start of 2021 which do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians on the block, arguing it has a serious impact on young artists trying to build a career.

Officials from Ms Dorries’ digital, culture, media and sport department said they had negotiated with 19 EU countries to allow British musicians and performers to go on short tours without needing visas.

Sir Elton, 74, told the Mail on Sunday last night: ‘While there has been some understanding of the plight young musicians face from former DCMS holders, in reality very little has been made to solve this colossal problem. I can’t wait to chat with Nadine Dorries and see what she will do to save the future of our £111billion global industry.

Sir Elton, who recently postponed the 2021 dates of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to 2023 after suffering a hip injury requiring surgery, told fans that visa rules prevent young talent from emulating the early career – traveling to Germany 17 to “get a taste of what foreign travel and different cultures were like”.

Sir Elton John has called for an urgent meeting with new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) over post-Brexit rules which have hurt musicians' ability to tour the EU

Sir Elton John has called for an urgent meeting with new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) over post-Brexit rules which have hurt musicians’ ability to tour the EU

He said, “And it’s so imperative that young artists have that opportunity to do that.” It makes them grow as songwriters, as artists and as human beings.

A government spokesperson said: “The duration of visa-free and work permit-free tours varies between Member States, and for many, including France and Germany, it can be up to 3 months.” We are working with Member States to ensure they have clear guidance.

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