Before Brexit came along, going to Liechtenstein would have been little different in logistical terms to going anywhere else in the European Union. You could just load up all your stuff in a lorry, drive down to Kent, cross the Channel Tunnel and drive there.
With the exception of your passport being checked on entering France – due to the UK and Ireland being outside the Schengen zone – the whole journey would have been easy. But thanks to Brexit, it’s just not that simple anymore.
If you’re a British musician and you want to tour in Europe, you’ll have to get a visa. The cost of the visa varies between each country and apply to any country outside the EU. And if you’ve got equipment you want to bring with you, like instruments, you may well have to pay extra.
So, how DO you get to Liechtenstein? Well, the country has no airport – so flying there is not an option. There are two ways to do this, as far as I can see. One is fly from one of the London airports to Zurich in Switzerland and take the train from there. Expect passport checks when going into and leaving Switzerland.
Option two is to drive. I described this option earlier – but there seems to be no readily available explanation on how the European Union countries you have to drive through to get to Liechtenstein will interpret these rules. Will you have to pay to transport your instruments through the Eurozone – and does that mean paying again when you drive back to Britain?
Let’s not forget that relations between the EU and the UK are pretty bad at the moment, not least because of the Northern Ireland protocol. The British negotiator who agreed the deal is complaining the EU are being too vigorous in their insistence on Irish Sea checks. Neither side is in exactly the mood to compromise right now.
And when they finally get there, where will they perform? With a population of just 39,000 people, most venues hold a few hundred at most. Even the biggest football stadium in the country only holds 8,000.
Liechtenstein also has its own domestic music scene. Are they really going to take kindly to the likes of Ed Sheeran turning up?
What sounded very unappealing at the beginning now sounds even worse…