The Guardian festival blog: The Guardian view on creative workers: Britain needs them | Editorial | Opinion

This week came the news that acts at this year’s Womad had been cancelled, owing to artists’ difficulties in obtaining visas under the Home Office’s “hostile environment”. This is not an issue confined to the world music festival. It has been causing problems for British cultural organisations for years. Applying for visas is often a humiliating strain for artists and a time-consuming nightmare for the festivals and venues that have invited them for no other reason than the pleasure and enrichment of British citizens. It took Scotland Street Press five months to help Belarusian poet Tania Skarynkina get a visa to appear at this month’s Edinburgh international book festival: time that could have been better spent on the work of publishing authors – and contributing to the UK’s economy.

Things could get much worse. The government’s Brexit white paper is desperately vague on possible arrangements for mobility for…


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