The Guardian festival blog: Let’s welcome musicians to Britain – not pull down the shutters | Chris Wright | Opinion


When Peter Gabriel, the singer and co-founder of Womad, voices his concerns about the government not welcoming foreign artists into the UK, it’s a sign that all music fans need to take an interest in Brexit. Gabriel wrote a letter to the Times this week after three artists due to perform at his festival in Wiltshire were denied entry to the UK.

Womad is a global community involving musicians from 130 countries and this year’s event attracted 35,000 visitors. The very ethos of this cultural celebration is one of diversity, yet many artists have chosen not to perform because of an emerging hostile environment.

They are deterred by the prohibitive cost of entering the country and are faced with the complicated process of securing visas and permits. The fear that they would not be welcome in our country was enough to convince many musicians to stay away. If this is a sign of things to come, it’s bad news for cultural exchange…



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Straight from The Guardian
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