New proposed UK legislation threatens to stop foreign acts from touring the country, in a bid to protect and nurture more homegrown talent.

Currently bands and musicians' visas can be applied for by their British-based record labels. But in the future, the Government wants each band and road crew member to apply individually at their local British consulate.

It is claimed the changes will help British acts and bring the country in line with the US and parts of Europe, where similar systems exist.

But industry experts predict many acts will abandon touring in the UK, because of the added cost and complications involved.

Music promoter and Agents Association vice-president PAUL FENN says, "This will make it night on impossible for so many acts to play in this country."

But Paul Birch, managing director of Revolver Music and BPI (British Phonographic Industry) International Committee chairman PAUL BIRCH argues, "There shouldn't be trade barriers anywhere, but there are touring taxes in Germany, it can be very difficult to get into the US and there are restrictions on French radio.

"We've got to take a robust position to bring us in line with Germany, France and Canada because asking people to be nice and play by the rules has got us nowhere."