UKEARTS-WORK starting map

Regular video updates will be posted here

Pandemic info in relation to our mission here

Though our absolute priority at this moment in time is to be as responsible for each other and to mitigate the effects of this pandemic, I know people are feeling vulnerable in health and in jobs and future security. I will from time to time post news that is relevant and appropriate, given our apolitical stance and mission in the hope this helps.

Above all else please stay safe, healthy and follow sound advice regarding social distancing and caring for each other in this time of need.

We will come out of this the other side with lessons learned, remember above all else we need each other, to care for each other, sharing where we can and thinking of others. Culture has a great place to heal and to comfort, we do what we can now and come together stronger by shared cultural experience and coming through at this time adversity.

Ian Smith
founder ukeartswork
March 19th 2020

Mission statement

Hello and welcome, what are we? Who are we?

We are a totally independent initiative currently self-funded; this may change in the future, but any changes will always be made clear on this site. Initially, this site will be in English, but we hope as time goes on and with funding to make this site available in as many languages as is possible to give as broad as accessible as possible.

We have one core aim, to ensure that the arts and all its workers can continue to work as smoothly as possible pre and post Brexit between the EU and the UK and visa-versa. In my recent experience as a key agency owner, based in the UK and with a presence in Austria for many years, I have witnessed first-hand instances of artists not being selected due to uncertainty around the need for work permits or other documentation. ( which as of now and until the end of the transition period to December 31st 2020 is unnecessary ). There have been rumours which have impacted on job offers and this will only increase as time goes on and the arts booking cycle moves forward. With a disproportionate effect on thousands of workers, including service providers and staff ie: technicians/producers/managers, with consequent impacts on the economy. Over time convinced me of the need for an accurate, reliable resource to calm fears and inform of the facts of the situation as it stands, not conjecture!

The aim of this website is non-political and non-profit, we wish to provide clear, free advice on the current situation and what will happen as agreements are made to the end of 2020 between the EU and the UK. After final arrangements are formalised, we will then continue to inform and help where we can with updates.

Misunderstanding surrounding work status is impacting on current opportunities for work. - Artists from all disciplines and projects are already suffering a loss of employment through uncertainty. Given the long lead-in time for many projects the arts industry, in particular, is affected as much of this work is of its essence short term and temporary but has significant economic impacts both in individual terms and in broader terms with a further effect on soft power and influence both from the UK into the EU and visa-versa.

There continues at the beginning of the final process starting on February 1st 2020, some misunderstanding about the future and present situation. We are here to help keep this confusion to a minimum. To help people plan and put in place whatever they need to do to keep the arts moving irrespective of genre or discipline though aimed at and for people working in the arts industry: artists in all disciplines, support crew, managers, agents, and, of course, promoters and bookers wherever they may be.

This resource is aimed at all that work in the arts sector - vital economically and culturally to the health of the UK and also the continent of Europe. It is the intention of this initiative to keep disruption to a minimum via the dissemination of accurate fact-checked information from all sides. EG: the UK Government Dept of Trade and associated departments and EU departments responsible for trade and culture. This will be made available to Artists from Dance / Music / Theatre / Film, and also all support staff vital to the creation of work within those sectors.

The core key factors are likely to be for entry from and to, the UK market and the Schengen area are:

Work Permits



Merchandise import/export

International Tax obligations across specific EU territories


Initially, the site's main page will be updated weekly with the current status unless any significant announcements are made during the negotiation period up to the end of 2020. It should be understood that until ratified by both the UK and the EU that nothing is absolute and is subject to change. What also should be noted at this time is that negotiations will not commence until March of this year; thus, no status updates other than news of interest will be posted.

What we know now on February 1st, 2020!

There is no change whatsoever until the December 31st 2020, for any work-related purposes.

Beyond 31/12/2020 we can only say this at this moment in time, that in the event of no deal at all on free movement and work of people and associated goods in either direction that EU nationals will be treated as artists and workers from other parts of the world when entering the UK.

The same is true that UK nationals will be treated as third-country nationals entering countries in the Schengen area, which at the moment vary depending on where in the world you are entering and in which countries within Schengen you intend to work. I will not go into detail now, but a Schengen visa does not necessarily cover work in all Schengen countries without additional permits for some countries. As this is a complex are this will be dealt with as we know what is happening with the negotiations, though appropriate links will be posted as we go forward.

In short, this will entail visas/work permits and bringing in equipment and goods. In other words, Carnets, yes, that includes musical instruments/cameras/staging, etc., in fact, any equipment necessary to fulfill your job obligations, but does not cover goods/merchandise for sales as this is dealt with differently under other arrangements.

I'd also like to say that in a perfect scenario is that this site would become utterly redundant at the end of 2020 with no change and frictionless movement for the arts with little or no impact. Still, for now, we see a need that we hope will be of use to all.

Ian Smith

With colleagues

Mark Ringwood

Roger Patterson