Tag: birmingham music (Page 1 of 12)

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 https://www.eflow.ie/

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: https://www.youtube.com/c/UkEuropeartsworkINFO

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

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty’s Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

Misty’s Big Adventure are heartbroken to announce the death of their friend, musician, composer, songwriter and band leader Gareth Jones, aka Grandmaster Gareth. He died at his home in Birmingham, UK. He was 41.

We shared this terrible news on our Facebook and Instagram pages late on Thursday night, as soon as we felt able to express our grief in words:

To all the lovely fans of Misty’s Big Adventure, we have some very sad and difficult news to share with you all.

Gareth sadly passed away on Sunday.

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

He left us the day after a truly joyous home gig at the Hare & Hounds where we were surrounded by pure love and friendship. To everyone who has attended our gigs, shared in our performances, listened to our music and given us so much in return we are overwhelmingly grateful, and we shall never forget you. We made something beautiful. We are so sorry to have to share this devastating news with you all.

Gareth, the world is truly changed without you.

All our love to you at this difficult time. Please take care and reach out to friends, family and the people you love. Share your burden.

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

Grandmaster Gareth’s band – our band – Misty’s Big Adventure – was founded in Birmingham, UK, in 1996. We were teenagers. Most of us are in our forties now. The band was our life, our family, our creative purpose. We released five studio albums, numerous tour CDs, a Best Of compilation, and were due to begin work on our next album. We performed live all over the UK and Europe, and met so many wonderful people, and we hope that we added a splash of joyful colour to this world with our music.

The late great John Peel was a supporter of Gareth’s music, commissioning a Peel Session Monster Melody and famously declaring Gareth to be “the new God”.

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

In addition to his work with Misty’s Big Adventure, and releasing a series of solo albums, Grandmaster Gareth collaborated with many artists including Broadcast, Jeff Lewis, Pram, The Zutons, The Retro Spankees, Dog Food, Brute Force, Kimya Dawson, Noddy Holder, Gruff Rhys, and Sir Patrick Moore. He was Musical Director for the Creation Theatre Company, Oxford, for whom he composed a number of scores and musical arrangements. He wrote the theme tunes for Dave Gorman’s BBC2 series Genius and for Jimmy Carr’s Comedy Cuts on BBC Radio 2. He also composed music for video games, including Pool Panic, Loot Rascals, and Surgeon Simulator 2. His community music projects with adults and children in Birmingham were a joy he embraced whenever the opportunity arose.

Grandmaster Gareth of Misty's Big Adventure 25/08/80 – 15/05/22

September 2013 Music Network Meeting Minutes

Birmingham Music Network Meeting – September 2013

Present: Robin Valk Radio To Go, Sue Nichols performer, merch seller, Gary Skull Fox, Jeremy Skull fox, Chris BCU Student, Sandra BCU student, Ryan BCU Lecturer, Matthew Sound engineering student, Jim Simpson Big Bear Music Group, Rebecca Edwards student studying media,  Meg student, Thomas Glass Bullet, Ryan second year student, Tony works in music projects and youth centers,

New Points:

Mark Iron Man Records: Talked about Police Bastard releasing a new CD album called “Confined” on Iron Man Records.

Robin Valk: Campaign for regional Broadcasting in the region. Janice Long supports local talent but bands in this region lose out.
BBC spending in the region has much declined.

Culture Shock moseley: an interesting show taking place
on saturday at St Marys Church, Moseley
free food too

Interesting point made that BCU is leasing buildings and facilities to the BBC so some funding and support is going back into the region but perhaps not enough.

Janice Long supports new music
Tom Robinson on 6 music supports new music.

Who are the supporters of new music on radio? if you are a new band in birmingham who can you turn to?

3rd year student. talking about what he is going to do for his final year project on and what are the growth areas of

Ryan: lecturer and BCU researcher. Working on new


Jim Simpson:
Talked about lack of cohesion in the region.

what are we going to do?

Jim would like to take a team to Midem. He is looking at 2015
Any interested parties get in touch.
Jim Simpson Big Bear admin@bigbearmusic.com

Parliamentary debate on the future of Arts, Creative & Cultural Industries and Birmingham.

Parliamentary debate on the future of Arts, Creative & Cultural Industries

The first debate in the House of Commons on arts and culture in over five years took place on 19th June 2013. Given the huge economic and cultural value the sector generates, how important to the government is the future? Maybe the clue is in the massive turn out (See picture above). Some valuable arguments were raised, including the BBC representation of regional broadcast production and investment to the Midlands. Here is the transcript or you can cringe through the video here:

If you are interested to read how some people perceive, research and formulate recommendations for the growth of the Independent Music Sector in Birmingham, read through this document: Does Birmingham punch below its weight? Research and recommendations for growth of the Independent Music Sector in Birmingham by Councillor Ernie Hendricks, James Burkmar, Kevin D’Costa. It has only taken three years of emails, phone calls, and meetings to chase down and read a copy of this, but read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

And if you want more, to put some context around what’s been going on over the years, have a read of this, it’s an eye opener. Birmingham: How to kill a city – The Economist http://goo.gl/fb/pZgKq  – Britain’s planning laws all too often restrict and prevent investment which might create economic growth. It is worth remembering occasionally that things were once even worse. For proof of that, see this fascinating post on Birmingham’s economy in the 1950s and 1960s, by Henry Overman, of the LSE’s Spatial Economics Research Centre. It’s worth reading. A shorter version here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2013/05/birmingham

More articles worth reading and discussing can be found here: https://birminghammusicnetwork.com/strategy/

Destination Birmingham. Birmingham A Music City Scrutiny Report

In 2010 Birmingham’s Independent Music Industry was asked to answer 10 Questions.

In May 2011 UK Music published “Destination: Music” the first study of its kind to scope the economic contribution of music festivals and major concerts to tourism throughout the UK. You can read all about it at http://www.ukmusic.org/news/post/147-music-tourists-contribute-at-least-864m-a-year-to-the-uk-economy

After May 2011 Emma Williamson (Group Overview and Scrutiny Manager) & Baseema Begum (Research & Policy Officer) at the Scrutiny Office of Birmingham City Council got in touch. Emma & Baseema sent through several documents that asked a number of interesting questions. Rather than try to answer the questions on your behalf, The Music Network decided to pass the questions on to you direct.

In October 2011 The Music Network asked Another 10 Questions.

The Music Network hope the discussion will continue. We have collected together your opinions, consultation and research here in the Strategy category.

In February 2012 An email and Scrutiny Report Document was sent to us by Baseema Begum, Research & Policy Officer, Scrutiny Office, Birmingham City Council. The email read as follows: Continue reading

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