Musicians’ Union launches free membership scheme for refugees

The Musicians’ Union (MU) is proud to launch a Refugee Musicians Membership scheme giving refugee musicians access to one year’s free MU membership. The MU and
Counterpoint Arts hope it will help refugees build their music careers in the UK.

This means musicians escaping famine, conflict and persecution will have full access to the MU’s advice and services including contract advice, legal advice and insurance cover relating to their work as musicians.

Members who join the scheme will also have access to expert advice through the MU’s regional offices across the UK, and a regular programme of training and networking events.

Working with Counterpoints Arts, the MU hopes the scheme will help refugees building their music careers in the UK.

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl said:

“I am proud to lead a trade union that welcomes refugee musicians, and where the suggestion of a free membership offer came directly from our members. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to welcoming refugees into our family of musicians.

“The UK’s musical landscape is richer because of wide-ranging musical influences from across the world, and we’re here to provide support and guidance to all musicians who need us. Solidarity and inclusion are about embracing everyone. We want refugee musicians to flourish, avoid bad deals and exploitation, and have confidence that – should they need help – we’ll be right by their side.”

Counterpoints Arts Director Almir Koldzic said:

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with the MU on their offer of free membership for refugees who are professional musicians. Access to information, contacts, and support is so important for people who are seeking sanctuary, and with the MU’s support many more musicians will now be able to share their work with the public.

“This initiative is also a statement of solidarity from the MU and the wide community of musicians they represent, and a strong commitment to a spirit of welcome and inclusivity.”

MU Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion John Shortell said:

“Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work and access to trade union membership is a crucial part of making that a reality. Refugees can experience exploitation and abuse in workplaces and may be unable to report if employers are taking advantage of them.

“Without access to a trade union that can challenge these practices, refugees can be pushed into poverty, debt and homelessness. No musician should lose their job because of the colour of their skin or where they were born. This refugee membership offer will ensure that refugees have access to the MU’s legal advice and assistance services, workplace representation if they need it, learning and development programmes, and networking events enabling them to build a professional network in the UK.”

Anyone wanting to join the MU on this offer can do so via Counterpoints Arts by emailing –

More information about MU membership can be found here…

Written by Theatrefullstop