British bands and singers can now perform in Spain without a visa for up to 90 days

Van Morrison is just one of the tens of thousands of British bands and singers affected by Spanish visa laws

While much of the rest of Europe continues to punish British bands and singers, and other artists, because of Brexit, the Spanish government has decided to remove a complicated work visa procedure British bands and singers have been forced to comply with if they wanted to perform in Spain.

That strict visa procedure was enacted last year after the United Kingdom left the European Union, and left many British artists unable to perform in Spain as the costs were simply too high. Now the Spanish government has decided it probably wasn’t in Spain’s own best interests to continue with it.

Under the new rules for British bands, singers, actors and other artists wanting to work in Spain, any Brit will be allowed to perform in Spain for up to 90 days without having to obtain a work permit.

After that, should any British musician, actor or other artist want to perform in Spain for longer — up to the at the moment allowed 180 days — they will be required to obtain a work visa.

The visa change came into effect on November 14th. It is also applicable to any other artist from countries whose citizens do not normally need to have a Spanish travel visa.

It is not only British musicians and other artists that will benefit from the common sense of the Spanish government either, as the Spanish Association of Music Promoters has also been lobbying Spanish politicians to allow British bands and singers to perform in Spain without unnecessary visas.

The primary reason is that they know how popular British musicians are in Spain and elsewhere in Europe and, if many British artists would not be allowed to perform in Spain it could be costly for Spanish music festivals that draw crowds because of them.

Meanwhile, the trade groups LIVE and the Association For British Orchestras explained why the previous visa rules for British artists were simply too difficult for most:

Visas have been a significant issue for Spain which, despite representing the fifth largest live music market in the world, posed the most costly and complicated visa application process across the bloc for artists looking to travel for short-term work.

Until now, artists and their promoters have had to make applications for short-term visas entirely in Spanish, provide a host of itinerary details before having even been given the green light for the tour to go ahead – including accommodation and flight allocations – and give proof of applicant earnings of up to nearly £1000 before ever having left the country. Costs were also prohibitive, amounting to over £10,000 for an orchestra to visit Spain for up to five days.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

Now let’s see if the rest of the EU follows suit.