A fallen PM and panic seizing the UK and Europe, the impact of Brexit so far appears to be playing as background music to industry executives in Canada.
Independent promoter Gary Cormier’s response is it will be business as usual. “Most acts coming over have to do immigration to get into the US because that’s where the real work is. Aside from the fact that most European acts that can work here usually do that through UK agents, once they get into US that seems to satisfy Canadian Immigration.”
Like many, United Talent Agency’s Canadian president Jack Ross says it is premature to say what if any changes are in store. “It feels too early to tell,” he responded by e-mail yesterday, adding that “the idea of open borders has obvious advantageous for the touring business.”
Fedlman Agency president Jefff Craib concurs. “The U.K. music scene is extremely vibrant,” he said yesterday. “Music is a huge export for these countries and I assume that is not something that will change. The effects of Brexit in most cases will be years down the road and likely will have a huge effect on many industries where they locate, import and export their products. I personally don’t feel music is one of the areas that will be at the forefront of these."
It’s a sentiment shared by Geoff Kulawick who runs a variety of music entertainment businesses including artist management, recording, music publishing and the Independent Digital Licensing organization (IDLA). Contacted by FYI, he says that the impact is difficult to judge, but he doesn’t see any pending impact on his business activities other than a possible decline in UK revenues resulting from the decline in the pound and for him the UK represents maybe 10% of his overall global sales. He adds that “royalties are not subject to any kind of withholding tax,” and he doesn’t see why Britain would impose them. “They are bringing in a lot of income from royalties from abroad so I can’t see them imposing a tax on royalties going out.”
Like many contacted, Indie promoter Gary Topp can’t see any changes in how he books, adding “only time will tell” if the EU divorce has any material impact on bringing in acts from abroad.
For music retailers, a decline in the British pound means imports will become cheaper to purchase. If the Canadian dollar strengthens it gives Canadians touring in the UK more wiggle room in budgeting expenses. Beyond this, the calamity over there seems to be having no visible after-shocks over here beyond the obvious implications on financial markets. And that whiplash effect could be the biggest after-shock of all.