Free Movement - UK hauliers working on music concerts, sporting and cultural events will be able to make unlimited international trips under new rules. Since Brexit, British specialist hauliers have been limited to three EU stops per tour, the government said. But from late summer they will be able to move freely between the UK, the EU and other countries, it said.
The change has been cautiously welcomed by industry experts but they said it did not solve the problem for everyone. Wob Roberts, production manager for Duran Duran and Sam Smith, told the BBC the move was good news for UK and European tours but did not help smaller UK-based operations which do not have another base overseas.
New dual registration laws will apply to haulage companies with a base in the UK and another abroad, the Department for Transport said. It means they will be able to transfer their vehicle between both operator licences without the need to change vehicles or have their journeys limited. They will also not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the UK for six months. The new rules will apply to travel not just to the EU, but also to other countries.
Industry group UK Music said the rule change was "important progress for UK musicians and crew looking to tour the EU". But chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin told the BBC there were still issues around the transport of goods or passengers.
Breaking Point - Theatre workers are at "breaking point" after enduring decades of long hours and low wages, BECTU has warned, as it demands “substantial and meaningful” increases for front-of-house and backstage staff working across the UK. The union has submitted pay claims to the Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre and Ambassador Theatre Group demanding an increase in wages for salaried staff, arguing that better pay would help prevent further talent drain from the industry.
BECTU head Philippa Childs said: "Theatre workers have faced long hours and low pay for decades and with huge increases in inflation, energy prices, fuel prices, travel and childcare costs, many of our members are now at breaking point. Talented backstage and front-of-house staff are leaving the industry for better pay and better balanced working lives. Our members deserve better; we are demanding that their skills are respected and fairly paid and that they can maintain a proper work/life balance."
Life on Mars - A performance of the music of David Bowie is to take place in the UK's largest planetarium. The National Space Centre, in Leicester, will be hosting four performances of the show: Bowie: Oddity to Mars on 20 and 21 May. The music will be performed by a band in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium. Malika Andress, the centre's head of marketing, said: "It is really fitting this hit show is our first big evening event following the pandemic."
The planetarium dome will give visitors a 360-degree screening of Nasa footage, showing the journey of Apollo 17 and one of the centre's own shows to accompany the music. This year marks 50 years since the journey of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon.
Mental Health - A documentary featuring Rag'n'Bone Man and members of Portishead and Idles is encouraging men to discuss their mental health. Man Down focuses on men working in the music industry and covers topics such as isolation, depression and suicide. Gemma Jennison, executive producer of the film and founder of the Man Down Programme, said male musicians in particular were at high risk of experiencing serious mental health issues.
(Jim Evans)
10 May 2022

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