martes, abril 16, 2024

massive price hike in visa costs

UK bands face struggle to tour USA : massive price hike in visa costsSometimes it feels all the odds are stacked against you as a musician. With Brexit making Euro tours harder and lack of rehearsal space, streaming and the struggling small venue circuit conspiring to make things though the latest hammer blow is a massive rise in the costs of the already expensive visas required to tour the USA.

Only bands with rich parents or old hits can now tour USA – no chance for anyone else – don’t worry though it’s still really cheap for American bands to tour the UK because that’s how pathetic we as a nation are in the ‘special relationship’.

We once campaigned on this issue a decade ago despite some band managers saying there was no problem getting visas. It was bad then but now its a 100 times worse…

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) have today reignited our #LetTheMusicMove campaign in order to oppose
newly-proposed changes to US visa applications that would result in potentially crippling costs for UK artists looking to tour the USA.

#LetTheMusicMove was originally established in June 2021 to campaign for reductions in post-Brexit costs and red tape for UK artists and musicians when touring in Europe.

However, a recent announcement by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has led us to extend this focus in order to raise concerns around potential increases to filing fees attached to specific visa applications – including O and P artists visas.

Under these new proposals, the cost of artists visas – which already run into thousands of pounds – would increase by more than 250%.

In the midst of the ongoing cost of living crisis and with the live sector still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, such increases would make it unaffordable for many emerging and mid-level British acts to work and perform in the world’s biggest music market.

The DHS and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services have opened a comment period until March 6th, 2023, allowing US citizens to send public feedback which will then be reviewed and further adjustments considered.

The MMF and FAC are calling on artists, musicians and other performers to commit to three simple actions:

  1. Complete a short survey on the proposed changes and their potential impacts. We will present the results to the UK Government and urge them to lobby the DHS 
  2. Submit your comments directly to the federal government and contact your US booking agent and promoter and encourage them to also protest this increase.
  3. Share this email to get more sign ups to the #LetTheMusicMove Campaign

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