The campaign that Louderthanwar have been on with Kerry McCarthy MP and UK Music for a change in the system for UK musicians trying to get American visas has received a big boost after a visit to the American Embassy last week.
John Robb, Kerry McCarthy and UK Music along with a whole raft of key figures in the UK music business had a high profile meeting with at the American Embassy and there were a lot of positives from the meeting.
At the moment the visa situation for UK musicians trying to get into the USA is very complicated and very expensive with a lot of added costs like having to use visa organisations that cost a lot of money and with the added cost of traveling to London to get to the visa early for the official interview. This travel on its own can be a two day trip for northern and Scottish bands because of having to get there at 8 in the morning.
There are also ever changing goal posts and timeline of the visas themselves that have resulted in many bands not being able to make the tours that they already have booked and costs can spiral up to Â£3000 per band to get to the States to play,.
American bands have virtually no costs when they apply for visas when traveling to the UK, which is pretty unfair.
The Americans were very open to several suggestions that were put to them and they are going to establish a relationship with UK Music so that we can be the door for the music industry and we will be working with them to simplify the whole visa process and also a few other suggestions that may soon be big improvements in the system.