Category: Dialogue (Page 1 of 13)

The brutal truth to earning a living as a Musician in 2023

Birmingham Music Network works with the local music community to stimulate growth, inspire, and share knowledge. We offer practical based industry experience and are not genre specific.

Being a musician involves composing, conducting, or performing music as a profession or as a hobby. Musicians create, perform, and interpret music in various styles, either alone or as part of a group or ensemble. A music performer is generally either a singer who provides vocals or an instrumentalist who plays a musical instrument. Musicians may specialise in different styles of music depending on their background, training, and interests. Additionally, being a musician may involve recording and releasing music as a recording artist, which involves creating both a musical work and a sound recording protected by copyright. Ultimately, being a musician is a passion for creating and sharing music with others. But it’s not easy to earn a living as a musician.

Musicians, like all of us, are facing the biggest decline in living standards in living memory. Millions of people up and down the country are now dependent on foodbanks, with over 100,000 having to access warm banks each week and many more are taking on multiple jobs just to keep the radiators on in their homes and to put food on their table.

Over a decade of austerity, cuts and the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on almost every single aspect of modern society. The lasting negative impact of the cost of living crisis remains to be seen but, for the live music and entertainment industry, it may just be the latest hammerblow to a sector where serious financial issues have gone unaddressed for too long.

Last month, the Music Venues Trust released its annual report for the year 2022 which highlighted the fragility of the British live music industry, which brings in £500m to the UK economy and has a total sector expenditure of just over £499m — leaving a profit margin of just 0.2 per cent.

This, shockingly, is despite 22 million of us enjoying live music performances last year.

It is fair to say that, without urgent action from the government, we could lose a number of important community assets that account for over 30,000 jobs and an incalculable music heritage in towns and cities in every part of the country.

UK to lose 10 per cent of grassroots venues in 2023, as calls grow for rest of industry to invest

The first report of the 2023 Musicians’ Census has just been released and gives a detailed insight into the demographic makeup of UK musicians, the barriers to career progression and economic challenges

Brexit continues to hurt UK Musicians and Crew – Hypebot

Brexit batters incomes of over 80% of UK touring musicians, as calls mount for immediate government action

UK Musicians’ Census reveals insights on earnings and career barriers

Nearly half of working UK musicians earn less than £14k, new census finds

‘The buildings were a sign of civic pride’: anger as art colleges around the UK close their doors

Campaigners blame Brexit for drop in European artists playing UK festivals

UK Music and FanFair Alliance deliver their latest calls for reform

Third of UK musicians earn less than £14k

The Brexit deal has been devastating for touring UK musicians – but this can be rectified

More Than 80% Of UK Musicians Touring EU Have Seen Brexit Hit Their Earnings

UK musicians’ tour earnings plummet thanks to Brexit

UK Music survey: 82% of artists touring EU say Brexit has hit earnings

Ash’s Tim Wheeler: ‘It’s such a pain in the arse, Brexit’

Future UK-EU negotiations should discuss the adoption of a cultural passport for the creative industries.

Study Reveals Brexit’s Impact on UK Musicians – Ludwig Van Daily

British musicians say they are losing out on gigs and jobs in Europe since Brexit

‘The government has been asleep on the job’: report reveals almost half of UK musicians working less in Europe than before Brexit

Almost 50 per cent of UK musicians working less in Europe after Brexit

Nearly half of UK musicians have lost work in Europe following Brexit, stark report reveals

Brexit sees UK musicians’s work dry up in EU: ‘It’s killing us’

Quarter of music industry workers have had no work in EU since Brexit

How to ensure your post-Brexit travel to the EU is seamless

Nearly 28% of music industry workers have had no work in EU since Brexit – Access All Areas

Labour MP hits out at ‘massively damaging’ issue facing musicians coming to Scotland

Brussels tells EU states: Ignore UK on post-Brexit trade

Over 80% of UK musicians report loss of earnings due to Brexit | News | ArtsProfessional

Brexit red tape ties up musicians touring EU and cuts into earnings

Post-Brexit talent visa gets just three applicants in two years

Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones Criticizes the Use of AI in Music Industry

Visa fee increase for international touring musicians delayed by US government

UK Music – Study raises questions over unintended effects of constraining British artists to domestic tours post-Brexit. – Birmingham Music Network

How Brexit crippled touring for UK musicians

UK music brought in €7.7bn in tourism – but is the scene healthy?

Brexit adding extra stress to concert promoters – Soundsphere magazine

Live Music Research – Researching the business and culture of live music

UK live music revenue to hit all-time high this year – Access All Areas

‘I can’t keep making a loss’: bands shun UK festivals as touring costs rise. Musicians say they can’t afford to go on the road any more, while smaller events are cut back or cancelled

Event professionals. There has been expectation that those looking to break into the industry carry the financial burden of inadequate budgets, and endure long hours, below acceptable welfare conditions, and undefined outcomes.

Trent Reznor Gives Update on Future of Nine Inch Nails. “The importance of music — or lack of importance of music — in today’s world, from my perspective, is a little defeating”

Lords committee urges end to Brexit barriers for musicians and young people

Parliament opens debate on the devastating impact of Brexit

Ice Cube says AI is demonic and its use in music will spark a backlash: ‘Somebody can’t take your original voice and manipulate it without having to pay.’

Britain’s ever-harsher welfare system means that now only the rich can afford to make art | Alex Niven

The Carry On Touring Campaign

Why UK Bands Playing in Europe Are Booing Brexit

Musicians left ‘sad and humiliated’ by disaster of post-Brexit travel for gigs

Noel Gallagher blasts Brexit: ‘absolute disaster’

Blur frontman: ‘Brexit was a travesty for young musicians’

Blur’s Damon Albarn labels Brexit a “disaster”

Midnight Sun Festival launch cancelled.“Rising costs and limited availability on festival infrastructure, as well as the cost of living crisis having an impact on ticket sales means that we are not in the position to deliver the event”

The Government-backed Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, designed to offer live events operators cover during the Covid-19 pandemic, paid out just one single claim of £180,500 while generating nearly £6m in premiums to cover 169 events

David Furnish slams Brexit red tape amid slump in UK acts at EU festivals

Musicians left devastated as Brexit takes toll on travel for gigs | The National

EU Provides Clarity Regarding Portable Musical Instruments and Associated ATA Carnet Requirements

The art of Brexterity: the vandalism of one of the UK’s most profitable sectors

Simon Rattle is right: Britain is becoming a cultural desert – and that’s a political choice | Martin Kettle. The arts and classical music say much about us as a country. We will need to fight for their place in our national life

Simon Rattle: UK classical music is fighting for life after ‘swingeing’ funding cuts

37% of young festival-goers put off by increased prices – Access All Areas

Musician explains why AI will never be able to replicate art & music as humans do ‘Disappointed feeling that there are smart people out there that actually think the artistic act is so mundane that it can be replicated by a machine,’

Ukrainian orchestra’s key members refused visas to play in UK

German band ‘refused entry to UK in Brexit rules row’

Glasgow venue ‘struggling’ as Brexit rules are ‘killing’ independent music scene

Britain is a dying nation in need of new curators | Stewart Lee

In Brexit Britain, the arts are being treated as hobbyist luxuries for the independently wealthy. A day job is a reality for many it’s how artists, writers, & musicians, not blessed with independent or inherited wealth, keep themselves afloat

Dominion Festival debut cancelled with only 5% of tickets sold – Access All Areas

Ian MacKaye on the “depressing” state of the music industry

New US visa 260% price hike will impose further pain on UK touring musicians

British Musicians Suffer from the Cost of Living Crisis – Skipping a Meal, Performing Less, and Finding a New Job Is on Today’s Agenda

Music by the many for the many – SAM SWEEK highlights the devastation Government policies have visited on the music industry

Government accepts key Committee recommendations to provide greater transparency on music streaming work and a more proactive approach to cultural policy

38 Million tracks on music streaming services were played ZERO times in 2022. Nearly a quarter (24%) of the 158 million tracks on music streaming services monitored by Luminate in 2022 attracted ZERO plays that year. That’s approximately 38 million tracks

Robomagic’s James Massing on putting artists and the planet first

Festival Lab 2023 course to tackle lack of diversity in festival industry – Access All Areas

UK Music calls on Chancellor to back eight-point plan for jobs and growth | M Magazine

U.S. Visa Hike May Impact Future Mobility of Touring Musicians

Music venues and clubs warn of mass closures after government spring budget revealed

The Price of Music: Artists explain how the monumental expenses of touring make it an unfeasible reality

British Musicians Suffer from the Cost of Living Crisis – OperaWire ?

The economy is so bad for British musicians that 25% are having to skip meals – Alan Cross

British musicians forced to cancel US tours as visa costs rise

Music Venue Trust calls on local councils to help save gig spaces after Preston City Council gives £150k to Own Our Venues scheme

Cost of living and last minute gig-goer decisions “a perfect storm” for grassroots music venues

Leaked letter: ‘A toxic culture of fear and paranoia’ at the BBC, from the D-G down – SlippediscSlippedisc | The inside track on classical music and related cultures, by Norman Lebrecht

Artists in UK public sector making far below minimum wage, survey finds | Arts funding | The Guardian

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

Tour Management: Going to Ireland and crossing the UK/EU Border using a Carnet

German punk band Trigger Cut refused entry to UK to tour because of Brexit

German punk band ‘humiliated’ after being refused UK entry due to post-Brexit rules

In Conversation with Dodgy’s Nigel Clark: all things Britpop, Billie Eilish, and why Britain just isn’t being ‘Good Enough’ to its musicians – The Mancunion

Let me be clear. If you don’t buy direct from Artists and Musicians, and if you don’t buy physical products from Artists and Musicians, those Artists and Musicians you like won’t be able to survive much longer. Please make your purchases now or make your way to the exit as the store will have to close soon. You have the power to keep Artists and Musicians in work. Think what you are doing. And if you don’t act, those subscription services you like so much…. might just be all that will be left.

Bandcamp Friday – If you have the means to do so, please support Bandcamp Friday & buy direct from artists & labels. It’s a way to support independent musicians directly & sustain their work And if you don’t have the means to make a purchase, leave a comment and share, share, share. Everything helps.

Subscribe to the Birmingham Music Network Newsletter on Substack here

If you find any other good articles worth sharing, get in touch.

Tweet us @BirminghamMN

UK Music – Study raises questions over unintended effects of constraining British artists to domestic tours post-Brexit.

Music brought in over £6.6bn and 14 million tourists to the UK’s economy last year, a new study has found. The study highlights the country’s continued cultural soft power and raises questions over unintended effects of constraining British artists to domestic tours post-Brexit.

UK Music, a collective organisation representing the nation’s music industry, has released its

‘Here, There and Everywhere’ report

detailing the impact of music on the UK’s economy in 2022.

The headline figures of the study were that the British music scene brought 14.4 million tourists to live gigs such as last year’s Glastonbury Festival, headlined by Sir Paul McCartney and US artists like Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar.

“Music is one of our country’s great assets – not only is it absolutely critical to the economic success of our local areas, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map,” UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said.

read more

The Musicians’ Census 2023

What is the Census?

The music industry brings together a broad and diverse range of people, each embarking on a unique career path pursuing their own creative vision.

The first ever Musicians’ Census will paint a comprehensive picture of the industry as a whole. By mapping the total population of musicians and learning what musicians’ lives and careers look like, organisations across the industry will have the insight they need to support today’s community of musicians, as well as musicians of the future.

Can I take part?

The Census is open to anyone considering themselves to be a musician in the UK who earns an income from music or plans to earn an income from music in future.

Whether you’re a performer, teacher, studio engineer, composer, whatever your role, we want to hear from the widest group possible.

Why is this happening?

Musicians are heading into 2023 facing a perfect storm of challenges, from the barriers to touring brought about by Brexit, to the ongoing difficulties in reconnecting with audiences post-pandemic, to the cost of living and cost of working crisis.

In order to provide the best possible support, we need to get to know the music community better; who you are, where you are, what you do and what support you need to keep doing it.

Who is behind the Musicians’ Census? 

The Musicians’ Census is a project from Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union, working with the expertise of leading research agency Walnut.

The Census is being supported by a huge number of organisations across the sector, including UK Music, Black Lives in Music and many other industry partners who have input into the project and will also benefit from its insight.

Complete The Census

The census is being carried out by Walnut Unlimited on behalf of Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union.

Help Musicians is an independent charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement. They help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support that they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career.

The Musicians’ Union are a trade union for professional musicians living and working in the UK representing over 30,000 members.

Your answers to this census will help us gain an up-to-date picture of what the U.K. population of musicians looks like and gather further insight on what life is like for musicians today e.g., career information and wellbeing. This insight will enable us to track changes in the musicians population over time (with the Census being run every five years), with key statistical findings shared with other charities and music industry bodies to enable others to make better decisions in how to support the U.K.’s community of musicians. With this in mind, we’d love you to share information about this survey with other people in the music sector so that we hear from as many people as possible. You can copy the online link and share on your socials, via email or text message.

Thank you for your time, you know what to do.

Birmingham Music Network Newsletter

Birmingham Music Network is a Music Networking organisation, leading the way by working with the local music community to stimulate growth, inspire, and share knowledge. We offer practical based industry experience and are not genre specific.

We would like to invite you to our brand new Newsletter on Substack.

The Music Network is a voluntary, not for profit, social enterprise organisation seeking charitable status. “we”, “our” and “us” means The Music Network. We are working for the benefit of the wider music community and encourage others to do the same.

Since 2000, The Music Network has pulled together a community of independent music organisations, based in the West Midlands. We offer access to some of the most innovative and exciting new contemporary music being produced today.

Musicians are finding it hard to survive. Brexit has been a hammer blow, Coronavirus has been a hammer blow, and now everyone is trying to tour and release music all at the same time. Audiences are overwhelmed with new music and concerts to go to. It’s hard for people to know what to choose with limited financial resources. Ticket sales are down, merch sales are down, every band with the ability to do so is out touring and asking for support. There’s little or no significant money coming in from downloads or streaming platforms.  But it’s not all bleak….there are lots of things to do.

Joining the mailing list and buying physical merch from Artists direct can really help. If you are struggling for money yourself, you can help in other ways by leaving a comment, sharing an Artist’s latest work or messaging them to tell them you are still there.

Birmingham Music Network seeks to encourage a positive attitude and a desire to find a way through all this.

“Pessimists sit around telling each other how hopeless everything is. It’s the optimists who get things done.”- Robert Anton Wilson.

Stay up-to-date, stay positive, and keep going. Subscribe to get full access to the Birmingham Music Network newsletter. You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.

Be part of a community of people who share your interests.

Join us on substack and keep in touch

You know what to do

Going to Ireland on Tour and crossing the UK/EU Border using a Carnet

If you have Tour Dates in Ireland and you’re travelling with a Carnet for your Musical Equipment, Mark at Iron Man Records explains how to keep it simple when crossing the UK/EU Border in a Splitter Van.

I took Sinead O’Brien to Ireland in October 2022 working as Tour Manager via Holyhead to Dublin Port. Here’s what I would recommend if you have Tour Dates to play, the UK/EU Border to cross, and a Carnet for Musical Equipment to deal with.

The first thing to do is book your Ferry as required. Be sure to buy a “Passenger” ticket for a 9 seater Splitter van as it is classified as a “passenger carrying vehicle.” Don’t go on a “Freight” ticket. I bought a Flexi ticket from Irish Ferries, it worked out £622.00 return. I chose Irish Ferries as their departure times were most suitable for our travel plans. But you can also go with Stena Line. I prefer Stena Line, but Irish Ferries worked out cheaper and sailed at the time we needed.

I chose a “Flexi” ticket as it’s valid for a year from date of purchase, ideal if plans change or there’s any delay with getting the Carnet stamped, and you need to move the booking to a different time. The ticket is also refundable if something happens. Don’t try and do the UK Carnet and Ferry on the same day. Always allow extra time in case something happens.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

We travelled to Holyhead from London and did the Carnet on the way to the Hotel. We caught the ferry the following morning to be sure we didn’t get delayed handling the Carnet. When we arrived in Dublin Port we did the Carnet on the way to our first show. Luckily for us it didn’t take long. It was the same on the way back, We did Dublin Port Carnet and then the Ferry on the way back to Holyhead. We did the UK Carnet after we checked out of our hotel the following morning on the way back to London. Don’t try doing it all in one day, you will only get yourself in a mess. For those who haven’t used a Carnet before, you have to get 4 sets of stamps. One leaving UK, one entering Ireland/EU, one leaving Ireland/EU, and one last one returning to the UK. I advise getting each stamp within 24 hours of Travel across the Border.

ATA Carnet - How To Use

UK Outbound (Export)

If you are going to choose an Inland Border Facility to present your Carnet, there’s one at Holyhead, it’s off ?A55 Junction 2, almost next door to Premier Inn. The address is: Holyhead Interim Inland Border Facility Service, Parc Cybi, Holyhead LL65 2YQ

There are many Inland Border Facilities to choose from. You don’t need to book Holyhead in advance, you can turn up anytime you like. Holyhead inland border facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You only need to attend the inland border facility if you’re travelling through Holyhead and you’re moving goods:

– under the Common Transit Convention and you’re not using the services of an ACC to start or end your Transit movements
into the country under the Common Transit Convention and you’ve been instructed to report to a site for those goods to be checked

– excluding live animals, using an ATA Carnet

– excluding live animals, covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

In October, I used the Inland Border facility at Warrington as I had heard it was not very busy and a quick and easy turn around for Carnet processing. I also chose Warrington just in case Holyhead was busy or doing a “Stress Test” when I got there. However, there’s no point in me telling you about that here as Warrington Inland Border Facility is now permanantly closed. But I can give you some basic points about handling the Carnet when you get to Holyhead.

On arrival at Holyhead Inland Border facility, follow the instructions you are given. Remember to wear your High Vis when moving around in the truck park.

I use Rock-It Cargo when I need a Carnet. There are plenty of other companies you could use, some might be cheaper. I put The Carnet in the name of Iron Man Records Ltd at the Iron Man Records address. You can list yourself and any member of the band/crew as ‘named representatives’ so any member of the travelling group can present the Carnet. Here’s an example of the letter that should be contained in your ATA Carnet, probably folded up near the back somewhere.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You need to present ID with the Carnet to show you are either the holder or a named representative. This is what the front cover of the ATA Carnet looks like below. You can see the Border Force Stamp you will get and the clear statement that the “Intended use of Goods” will be as “Professional Equipment.”

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

Make sure the Green front page of the Carnet is signed by the Holder. Note that section H. Certificate by Customs at Departure b) Goods Examined shows as NO. It is unlikely you will have to have the goods examined but always allow extra time just in case.

In the past I have lost 4 hours while UK Border Force have gone through every item and checked every serial number and flight case. So be professional, polite, and just stay focussed. Do not try to be clever and start any conversation that may accidentally give UK Border Force a reason to inspect the items you are carrying. Say as little as possible. Don’t make jokes or make fun of the staff behind the window, or explain what a futile nonsense the Carnet system is. Try not to get angry. Answer the questions and don’t go off topic. Be respectful.

I have had to watch others in front of me regret their words when they are told they will have to be inspected after upsetting the staff. You don’t want to spend 4 hours dealing with an inspection and no one will care who you are, or how much of a hurry you are in, or whether you or your band is any good.

When leaving your country of origin, in this case you will be leaving the UK via Holyhead, fill out a Yellow “Exportation” voucher. If you look at the top right of the form you will see it says: Exportation Voucher Number 1. You can do all of this in advance but you must sign the yellow voucher in front of the clerk you are handing it to.

If you are using your Carnet for the first time, here’s a brief overview of the four Visits (All using Exportation Voucher 1) you will need to make to Inland Border Facilities. This is what you need to understand.

Validation: All ATA Carnets must be Validated by HMRC / BF before the first use (this will be done at the same time the Exportation Counterfoils and Vouchers are being endorsed.)

1. Exportation: this refers to UK goods leaving / exiting from the UK (Leaving UK Via Holyhead)

?2. Importation: this is entry into a country of temporary admission (working visit). (Arriving via Dublin Port, T11)

3. Re-exportation: this is the departure or exit from the country of temporary admission (Leaving via Dublin Port, Yard 3)

4. Re-importation: the return of goods to the UK  (Arriving UK via Holyhead)

Transit: transits are rarely used, but may be required if your goods are moving through one Carnet country en-route to another (i.e. driving through EU on the way to a working visit to Switzerland counts as Transit. Note that Changing flights does not count as transit). Russia and Switzerland may request transits in case the goods are inspected away from the national border.

Vouchers: Are completed by the holder and detached/removed form the Carnet by Customs officials. Vouchers serve as a Customs declaration and must be signed by the Holder

Counterfoils: Are completed by Customs and serve as receipt audit trail for each declaration lodged.

This is what you will need to complete on arrival at the Inland Border facility, see highlighted areas below:

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

D. Means of Transport: Your Number plate / Vehicle Registration

E. Packaging Details: Flight Cases etc

F. Temporary Export Declaration, section a) 1 – 82

Place: Holyhead

Date: 2022/11/23 (Note the date is backwards, year/month/day)

Name: Print your name, be sure you are listed as a named representative on the Carnet first.

Signature: Your usual Signature.

If you have a list of 82 items and you are taking all of them, you write 1-82 in the box marked F. Temporary Export Declaration, section a)

If, like with Sinead O’Brien, you have had to leave some items behind, write in the items 1-82 but excluding the missing items, like this: 1-40, 42-51, 53, 56-64, 66, 68, 75, 77-82

Here’s another example Carnet from 2018, you can see the boxes to complete. The sheet is marked EXPORTATION.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You should also have copies of your general list in case of inspection. This would be your items 1-82 or whatever you are carrying with you in the Vehicle.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

You may be asked for a GMR (Goods Movement Reference). As I understand it, you don’t need one because you are NOT freight. Your are travelling in a “passenger carrying vehicle,” you are private individuals, musicians on tour, you have “Professional Equipment.” You have an ATA Carnet but NO GMR. The staff may persist but tell them straight, you are NOT frieight therefore you do NOT have a GMR. Hopefully that will be enough but you will have to be firm, remember: don’t get angry.

Once the staff at the Customs office window have your Carnet they will ask you for a mobile phone number. They keep all your paperwork and give you a slip/receipt and you go and wait for a text. Be sure to wait where there is plenty of phone signal or somewhere within visual distance of the Customs office Window. This will be the first Carnet stamp of four.

The first time I had to visit an Inland Border facility I got a text after nearly 3 hours saying everything was fine and to collect the paperwork. Typically the wait might be 20 minutes, but be prepared for a longer wait on occasion. If I had been picked for inspection that would have added extra time to inspect the goods against the general list.

Once you have the Carnet back, return to your vehicle and head to the Exit. You don’t have to pay for the parking. Watch the site speed limit.

EU Inbound (import)

On arrival at Dublin Port, you may be asked if you have anything to declare. Tell the Border Force that you are heading to T11 with a Carnet for “Professional Equipment.” Follow signs to Customs at T11 which is just past the Circle K garage, see photo below. The Circle K Garage has reasonable toilets and food and drink on offer in case anyone needs anything on the way.

Dublin Port - Call To Customs EU Inbound (import)

Further information is available on:

Urgent queries relating to goods entering or leaving Ireland should be directed to:

Revenue’s Customs 24 hour Helpline: +353 1 738 3685

T11 – Terminal 11 Border Crossing Station EU Inbound (import) what3words ///this.gained.proven

When you get to T11, follow the instructions given on where to park. Wear your High Vis and walk to the customs office. Say you have a Carnet that needs stamping as you are importing from UK to EU. Look for Voucher 1 in the Carnet. The sheet will be white and marked IMPORTATION. This will be second Carnet stamp of four.

EU Inbound (import) - Importation

In this example you will notice it says Voucher 3. Thats because the band’s Voucher 1 was used for a trip to Europe earlier in the year. Voucher 2 was used to go to Europe again in September. Voucher 3 pictured above was used for the trip UK/EU to Ireland.

Take ID & your Carnet with completed white importation voucher and copy of general list, sign it in front of them and hand it over. I stood at the window while the staff completed the paperwork. On completion the Staff said “let’s do a quick inspection.” We walked to the Vehicle and indeed, the inspection was quick. He asked me about the Vehicle, was it mine or a hire vehicle? He asked where had we come from and where were we going? He asked me what he would expect to find in the back of the van. I just said “Flight Cases as listed on the Carnet.” I opened the back doors of the van and he looked inside. “That all looks fine to me.” He said. “Anyone in the Vehicle?” I told him the names of the travelling group and he just peered through the window. “Ok That’s fine.” We walked back to the office, he stamped the Carnet and wished us safe travels.

I walked back to the van as quickly as possible without making it look like I was walking as quickly as possible. I climbed in and drove out of the Customs area as quickly as possible too, taking care to observe the site speed limit and making it look like I wasn’t in a hurry to leave. The job was done and we made our way to the first Irish show in Cork.

One thing you need to know about Ireland, you only need to get the Carnet stamped at your port of entry and port of exit. There is no need to deal with customs if you travel north or south. The Tour took us from Dublin Port to Cork, back to Dublin, to Belfast, to Limerick and then back to Dublin Port again. In our situation we only needed to get the Carnet stamped at Dublin Port on arrival and Dublin Port again on our departure.

If you haven’t been to Dublin before, be aware of the Toll Roads. Some roads have Toll Booths where you can pay cash or card, others are online like M50. If you are travelling in a hire Vehicle be sure to register the vehicle for auto pay just in case you forget to pay the online tolls. Try

EU Outbound (re-export)

You need to go somewhere different at Dublin Port on the way back to the UK to get the carnet stamped. Follow the signs again to Dublin Port T11 but you want to go, this time, to Yard 3 – Customs Export which is almost opposite on the other side of the road to the T11 entrance. What3Words address: ///token.abode.sticks

EU Outbound (re-export) - reexportation

Complete your white re-exportation voucher (Still Voucher 1) and sign it in front of them as mentioned before. This time the process took 5 minutes. Keep quiet and let them process it as you stand at the window. They are no more interested in your Carnet than you are. Let them do the work while you wait. Say nothing. Only answer direct questions if you have to.

The staff told me they are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. It must be a Dublin Port thing as the staff asked to do an inspection, again. It was much the same as the last one, they walked to the vehicle, asked me to open the back doors. They looked in and then said “fine” as soon as they saw all the flight cases stacked up. We returned to the office once they had asked who else was travelling in the vehicle. They peered through the window to check as before. Once the Carnet was stamped it was returned to me and they instructed me to proceed to the exit. Two staff in high vis were stood at the exit and they waved goodbye as we passed. In all the whole thing took less than 15 minutes. No issues, the staff were professional and courteous. This will be the third Carnet stamp of four.

UK Inbound (re-import)

Return to Holyhead Inland Border Facility as you did before. Same procedure. Park up in the van parking, hand your carnet in at the office window. You will need to get your yellow re-importation marked voucher 1 stamped. This will be the fourth Carnet stamp of four. See also below how the counterfoil gets stamped by UK Customs on the way out then stamped on the way back? Both say counterfoil 1. You don’t need to fill this in but the picture shows you what the UK staff will complete while they have your carnet.

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

If that’s the end of your trip you have to return the Carnet to Rock-it Cargo or whoever supplied the Carnet.

It seems to me that no one is inspecting vehicles UK outbound or UK inbound unless they have good reason to do so. The EU Staff at Dublin Port may check your vehicle but only briefly unless you give them reason to do otherwise. Always tell the others in the travelling group to keep quiet when you are being questioned by Customs or Border Force Staff. Answer the questions in full as simply and clearly as possible.

You may also find this post useful:

Tour Management: Crossing the UK/EU Border Using a Carnet

Useful Addresses:

Rock-it Cargo

Holyhead Interim Inland Border Facility Service, Parc Cybi, Holyhead LL65 2YQ

Inland Border Facilities

Urgent queries relating to goods entering or leaving Ireland should be directed to:

Revenue’s Customs 24 hour Helpline: +353 1 738 3685

Watch and Learn about all things Music and Brexit here: UK Europe Arts Work


I can recommend watching the relevant Videos by Ian Smith here:

Merchandise UK Border regulations and easy explainer what you need to do inwards to UK and outwards.

A very quick explainer on getting your merch out of the UK to the EU Schengen area (and beyond) and what you need to do when bringing it in, from simple declaration by conduct (walking through the green channel without saying anything) making a simple online declaration or making a full customs declaration. Please note all the advice here is based on HMRC (UK) current advice and links to said advice is here below. Also please note that the limit of £1500 is different to the limit for ENTRY to the EU we’ve been advised for the EU Schengen area which is €1K euros as a maximum, HMRC (Her majesty’s revenue and customs) PLEASE NOTE VAT … Declarations even if under the allowances for simple declaration at customs (in the red channel if making declaration on the day or online before entry) STILL MEANS YOU HAVE TO PAY VAT IF NECESSARY ! If Under £1500 usually no import duty if goods made in EU; this is for entry to the UK ..

Tour Management:

Iron Man Records Tour Management Services

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