Topic: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

I'm booking (well pretty much booked now!) a tour for a band from America for late April-May and they're a bit concerned about whether or not they should get permits as they heard about The Copyrights and Pine Hill Haints getting turned away.  They're getting t-shirts printed over here and are borrowing all our equipment including guitars, breakables etc so should have no signs of being in a band with them and I think we're even going to ship their merch over too. 

But... has anyone here helped a band get work permits for a tour and if so how much money are we talking and how long do they take to process?

Cheers for any advice

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

It costs ~~£200 for the "ACT", whether it's a 10 piece band or a singer/songwriter solo artist. To be honest, for that money I think it's silly not to do it, especially if you've put in all the work to book the tour, especially as the people who have booked the shows have also put a lot of time and money into the effort. I don't see why people take the risk.

I think it's pretty easy to do, Toby.

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

i think so long as they're not idiots and are able to tell the simple lie that they are tourists & staying with their "cousin", there's no reason to waste money on work permits.

however if they are stupid enough to give the game away (as lots of people seem to be), you should consider it.

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

I wouldnt bother, if they dont have anything with them and they all say theyre staying with you for 2 weeks or whatever and they have some money and return tickets I dont see why there would be a problem.

Loser Life got held up at customs coming into the uk and they held them for 5 hours but in the end they just let them go, they had return tickets and some money in their pockets... ... as well as guitars and bags full of merch!

I think mez had simmilar problems with some band just before x-mas but from what I hear they didnt keep their stories straight and looked very 'punk'

as long as yer boys are sensible I cant see there being a problem

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

We could not afford work permit for Church of Misery for the 2005 tour. So we had the van+equipment+merch+French driver cross in one ferry, and the band + back packs + printouts with youth hostels addresses and Stonhenge leaflets on the next one. That way if they were asked any questions, they were on their way to see me (I had met one of them in Tokyo and invited them to stay at mine if they visited the UK...as you would) and then going to see stonehenge.
As long as you have a matching story, it should be a doodle.

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

Another good idea is them coming in separate flights. The day before or the day after.

I am getting visas for LIMP WRIST and quite possibly for SEX/VID too.

People laugh at me coz I like weird music
People just don’t understand
Why pay £6 for an album when you can
Listen to a weird noise band?

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

Bands need to apply for an 'entertainer' visa under the Tier 5 route. These new rules began back in November and immgration officers don't take into account DIY ideals.

its all on the homeoffice visa website. They should contact the UK embassy in thier own country to enquire and pay the fee.

If they get caught they may get 'black listed' as indivuals with thier biometric details stored on the mighty UKBA data base and denied entry later down the line, even if they are by themselves on holiday. sad but true.

if they're going to lie they'd best have some touristy stuff with them, address + phone numbers of where they're staying with (they do check) and sod all mech. You could get a record label or recording studio to vouch for them saying they're here to do a session....

personally I'd say pay for the visa and bare it in mind when you work out your costs.

you still bore me...

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

colafreak wrote:

Another good idea is them coming in separate flights. The day before or the day after.

I am getting visas for LIMP WRIST and quite possibly for SEX/VID too.

paco. kilvo reckons you want me to drive? if so, get in touch with the dates so i can think about it.

word.

you still bore me...

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

Cool thanks for the advice.  As the band are very keen to promote the tour (increasing the chance of there being visible info online) then it would be a good idea to get the permit.  So am I right in thinking there's not a lot I can do here in England for them and they need to check in with the UK Embassy and sort it all from there?

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

yeah pretty much.
you could ask ukba what exactly it is they need to obtain prior to arrival so that no one gets thier wires crossed.

entertainment isn't the same as 'working' or something....

you still bore me...

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

waste of time. If they are borrowing equipment and are only bringing bags over with them, get them all to take separate flights and save yourself some cash

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12 (edited by binb 04-02-2009 17:19:37)

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

If anyone in the band (non-EU) has been to Europe in the previous 9 months their passport will ping up an alert and an automatic search of the internet. When we were at Dover coming back with Spookey the immigration guy read us out the tour dates as he checked the passports.
Get someone from a studio to mock you up an invoice for recording.
We used a fake invite to play someones wedding to get Spookey into Spain.

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

steve wrote:

waste of time. If they are borrowing equipment and are only bringing bags over with them, get them all to take separate flights and save yourself some cash

yeah 'IF'....

most bands want to bring tonnes of shit with em. may as well pay IF thats the case.

apparently its worse  going the other way! how many UK bands play in the US??? not many...

you still bore me...

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

HeroicToby wrote:

Cool thanks for the advice.  As the band are very keen to promote the tour (increasing the chance of there being visible info online) then it would be a good idea to get the permit.  So am I right in thinking there's not a lot I can do here in England for them and they need to check in with the UK Embassy and sort it all from there?

I'm not sure if you already tried this but I googled a couple of names of those in the band when I was looking into this the other day and it's safe to say that should anyone in authority do the same then the game would be up immediately even if the guy was half asleep on the job!

I couldn't find any concrete info on what exactly is needed though...I was expecting to find clear guidelines but came away more confused than when I started!! I've sent out a few messages looking for advice so will let you know if I get any responses.

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

xleox wrote:
steve wrote:

waste of time. If they are borrowing equipment and are only bringing bags over with them, get them all to take separate flights and save yourself some cash

yeah 'IF'....

most bands want to bring tonnes of shit with em. may as well pay IF thats the case.

apparently its worse  going the other way! how many UK bands play in the US??? not many...

Why bring tonnes of shit?

merch can be printed in England, equipment can be borrowed? What else are they bringing? pyrotechnics and hookers?

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

i agree.
but they are americans and they rule the planet maaan. get with the programme. everything is soooooo much, like, totally more awesome in the states, you know, you know?

you still bore me...

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17

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

wait,so they just changed the law ? are the controls even harder now ? brought like 40 bands or more over pretending to be tourists...also the homeoffice visa bureau told me you can´t directly apply for a visa,but need a venue or so to apply for you...if you will have to get one by all means from now on i am sure no band i will book will encounter the Uk anymore as it isn´t worth 200 Pounds to get a visa....shit...

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

Flo wrote:

...also the homeoffice visa bureau told me you can´t directly apply for a visa,but need a venue or so to apply for you...

My mate was recently booking a tour and she said something to me along these lines but I couldn't find anything else about it anywhere. So can one independent venue apply even if the tour involves multiple venues that have no connection with the venue involved in getting the visa/permit?  What I really mean is, if the band were booked to play the local pub, could the pub apply for whatever is needed to cover the whole tour?

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19

Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

it´s possible,but everybody who applies for you charges some money too after my knowledge and you have to pay many fees anyhow.Tried to find a cheap way to get visa and wrote that federal institution about it and they said there´s no way to directly apply for visas.BUT if they changed the laws it might be different now.

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

It used to be the case that you could only apply if you were the owner of a registered business, acting as "employer" of the touring artists. Not sure if that is still how it is.

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Re: American Bands touring in the UK - permits?

Well I know the owner of at least one venue on the tour that I'm sure would be happy to help as long as we promise to repay the favour and I dare say Toby probably knows at least one or two more so if that is still the way it works at least that part of it shouldn't cause too many headaches.

Toby, I know Jon hadn't got any further with this but he said you may have? If some kind of venue/business/employer input is gonna be needed then I'm gonna see just the man at the weekend. Do you want me to have a word or have you got something sorted already?

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