FreeMoveCreate, the campaign co-founded by a-n and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), has published a new report on the impact of Brexit and the importance of freedom of movement.

The report, which has been compiled by ISM, is based on a survey data from over 1,600 musicians. Its findings show that more than 40% of respondents have noticed an impact on their work as a result of Brexit, up from 19% in 2016.

Of those who took part, 39% of musicians travel within the EU more than five times a year, with 12% traveling to the EU more than 20 times a year.

For these respondents, working in the EU is an integral part of their income. They are often offered work at short notice, with more than one in eight performers stating that they had less than seven days’ notice between being offered work and having to take it.

The data used in the report was gathered between October 2016 and May 2018 through three surveys of the music workforce. The surveys asked them about the impact of Brexit on their work and about the nature of their work in the EU and beyond.

A total of 1,625 responses were received from performers, composers, singers, songwriters, directors and academics. Responses covered a wide ranges of genres, from electronic and neo-soul to early jazz, classical and rock and pop.

The report calls on the government to reach an agreement with the 27 European Union member countries to protect freedom of movement for musicians and other artists.

The FreeMoveCreate report follows a recent House of Lords report on freedom of movement for creatives, while the importance of mobility for creatives is also highlighted in the government’s recent EU White Paper.

For more information on the FreeMoveCreate campaign, co-founded by a-n and ISM, visit

More on

Liz Atkin, Silent Lament, 2014

Artists and mental health: a conversation that needs to get louder


Artists remove works from Design Museum in protest at arms trade event


Ali Harwood, Kids That Fly. Independents Biennial 2018 at St John’s Market. Photo: Tony Knox

Independents Biennial 2018: giving artists what they want