The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95941 Message #1871166
Posted By: Anne Lister
29-Oct-06 - 03:16 AM
Thread Name: Les Barker US tour canceled!
Subject: RE: Les Barker US tour canceled!
Tempting as it may be to think of this as a political issue, I think from all I've heard from Les and other folk musicians who've had the same problem, that it's more of a bureaucratic mess than conspiracy theory. Doesn't make it any better for Les or for people who wanted to hear him on this tour, of course. Quicksilver (Hilary Spencer and Grant Baynham) have also been denied visas on the same ground and so has Andy Irvine .. the official ground being "not culturally unique enough", as the major criterion for a P3 visa is to be culturally unique. Yes, I know - it still makes no sense with these performers, but I doubt if any of the bureaucrats concerned have any knowledge whatsoever of the poems or music of the artists they're dealing with.
Getting a visa, as I know from my own experience, is a time-consuming paperchase with costs, and even when it all runs relatively smoothly it can still have the performer tearing out chunks of hair as deadlines approach.
If any Mudcatters feel they know anyone with any clout in the US who might be able to help I'm sure lots of UK performers would be grateful. It's certainly been a factor restricting my visits to the US, and everything has become far more difficult after 9/11.