The Guardian festival blog: Foreign musicians shunning UK, says Womad organiser | Politics

The organiser of Womad, the world music festival, has said artists are giving up trying to visit the UK to perform because entering the country has become so “difficult and humiliating” since the Brexit referendum.

Chris Smith said the impact of the UK visa process on foreign musicians “genuinely broke his heart” and had made it more difficult to attract performers to this year’s festival.

“The world has never needed events like Womad more than it does now,” Smith told the Radio Times. “It stands for tolerance and understanding and learning and openness but that culture is being crushed as politicians lurch to the right.”

Acts from 128 countries are due to attend this year’s festival. But Smith said some had accepted the invitation to perform, only to withdraw after looking into the visa process. He blamed the situation on the 2016 decision to leave the European Union, which sent a message out that the UK…


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Straight from The Guardian
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