EM Group hosts show for Face The Music, as Labour Party promises a better deal for touring artists

Published on June 18, 2024

EM local group, Stratford4Europe, organised two days of campaigning for Face The Music - a street stall and a concert - after applying for and receiving a grant from European Movement UK.

Beginning with a street stall on May 25th, the group organised a performance from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Thursday, May 30th, at the Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Following their performance, the musicians gave personal testimony to their own feelings about the campaign and gave an encore of the European Union’s national anthem to end of the evening.

The packed-out 150 capacity hall concert was full of support for the Face the Music campaign, with some of the audience even writing letters of support in the local paper.

This event takes place after European Movement activists took action across the UK in places like SwanseaLambeth, Edinburgh, and Swindon, for our Face The Music Action Weekend in March, and the timing of this event is also very important. 

European Movement UK has been campaigning for months for urgent action to be taken on behalf of musicians, whose ability to perform or work in Europe has been crippled by post-Brexit bureaucracy. Speaking to the FT this week, Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has promised that a Labour government would seek "improved touring rights for UK artists".

(Photographs: above and in thumbnail, Stratford4Europe)

"As a group with a very strong track record of organising events like our regular Euro Cafes, talks by well known speakers and our ‘Second Referendum’ last year, we all felt this had been another successful campaign," said Jonathan Baker, one of the organisers at Stratford4Europe.

"We were especially pleased that we had reached-out to a much wider audience. It was clear too, from the conversations we had, that we had been successful in encouraging people to think about our relationship with Europe in a new light which was what we had hoped to achieve."

Set up in 2016 immediately after the referendum, Stratford4Europe is one of the longest established branches affiliated to the EMUK. The group are are already thinking of following this campaign up with others which highlight the impact of Brexit, such as advocating that the UK should adhere to EU’s higher environmental standards, along with a similar campaign on farming standards.

Members can find out more about how Stratford4Europe organised this in the Grassroots Hub.

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