The process of obtaining visas for touring to the US - Association of British Orchestras “At least three months in advance of a tour, it is necessary to submit a list of all the proposed personnel for the trip, such as musicians, artists and support staff. Passport information and personal data for each applicant must be included for the visa petition. Supporting evidence such as letters of reference for soloists, staff job profiles, press reviews, marketing materials must also be supplied. “Either the promoter or a designated agent must apply for the visa petition. Touring companies must usually apply for two of them - one for the players (P1) and one for the supporting staff (P1-S). A letter also needs to be written to the Musicians’ Union in the USA to explain why the presenter is engaging a UK orchestra rather than a US one. “Many orchestras pay for premium visa processing in order to have petitions within a guaranteed timeframe. “Fees payable are as follows: - Visa petition fee: $325 (x 2) - Premium processing visa cost: $1,225 (x 2). - Union consultation Fee: $250 (x 2) - Visa fee: $190 per person for UK residents (there can be additional charges for other nationalities). “Each member of the touring party must fill in their own online visa application and make an appointment to attend a visa interview at the US embassy. Filling in the form and making the appointment can take up to two hours. It is only possible to attend the visa interview once the petition has been completed and sent to the orchestra. The overall interview process takes about two hours. If an individual has had a US visa within the previous 12 months they can apply by sending their application to the embassy by courier; all passports/visas are returned by courier, which must be paid for. “In addition to the visas, orchestras travelling to countries outside the EU need to apply for a carnet for instruments and equipment travelling as cargo. This requires time to be spent collating information on each individual instrument,
the preparation of the carnet document and arranging the bank guarantee (to cover the export duty if anything is not returned to the UK). There is a charge of between £195 - £325 for the carnet depending on whether you are a member of a chamber of commerce, and if a cargo agent arranges the carnet there will be an additional cost.”
Turning young talent into stars DMF Digital, Sheffield DMF Digital is an independent artist development company based in Sheffield, representing 18 emerging acts. Given the slim margins on which debut EU tours operate, it has accelerated the touring schedules of a number of acts in order to pre-empt the additional costs to touring that will be incurred by departure from the EU. Rock band Fizzy Blood were initially scheduled to hit EU circuits in summer 2017, but this has been brought forward to November 2016. DMF are sacrificing some of the time usually dedicated to growing European audiences digitally prior to touring. This means lower ticket prices and smaller booking fees as they are at an earlier stage in their publicity and promotion schedule and DMF anticipate that revenues will be reduced by between £4,000 and £5,000.