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Index – Culture – The German band was humiliated on the English frontier

Index – Culture – The German band was humiliated on the English frontier

German punk band Trigger Cut was returned from the French-English border on April 6, 2023. The trio started from Stuttgart, and after a special check in Calais, the border guards did not allow the team to enter the territory of the United Kingdom.

Several months of planning, 1,750km of driving to Calais and then back to Stuttgart, bus rentals, high tariffs, ferry tickets…all for nothing. Mentally, we are now in a dark, bottomless pit, it’s a nightmare

– wrote the band’s guitarist, Ralf Schrechmidt, in a Facebook post.

Clubs don’t know either

He also said in the post that they had all the necessary documents to cross the border, but the authorities also asked them for a so-called “certificate of sponsorship”, which not only they knew was necessary, but also the organizers of seven concert venues – where they were supposed to perform – did not hear so after. This was their second attempt at a UK concert tour, the first having been aborted due to Covid restrictions. Both cases took a heavy toll on the band, so they wouldn’t try again for a while.

Carry On Touring co-founder Ian Smith has been trying to help both EU and UK teams tour the other region. the Watchmannek talked about the fact that there are similar stories every month, because

Regulations that have changed since Brexit are “vague and confusing”.

Smith contacted the band about the incident, and learned from them that they wanted to enter the UK under the so-called PPE Regulations, which meant an “authorized paid undertaking”. Accordingly, the band would be allowed to tour the country for a month, if they could show an official invitation from the clubs they would be playing. In addition, they must prove that they have sufficient financial resources to complete the tour,

On the other hand, a “certificate of bail”, which is requested from the band at the border, is a more secure form, allowing for a ninety-day stay, but requiring more paperwork to obtain.

According to the co-founder of Carry On Touring, besides the fact that government entry guidelines aren’t entirely clear, even in English, they aren’t available in other languages. According to Smith, it will be important to sensitize local clubs and concert organizers more seriously about this, because the regulations that have changed since Brexit have completely changed the system, and many people only encounter this when the band gets stuck in the venue. border. In addition, he also feels that a serious problem is that “at their own discretion, border guards can return anyone they want from the border, and there is no possibility of legal redress.”

The opposite is not easier either

The problem is neither new nor one-way. As we’ve written before, the British teams are no better off either. They have to fight their own battles with EU regulations if they want to play music on the continent, and American performance opportunities have also been difficult lately. Despite the government’s continued promises, experts are still not sanguine on the matter.

The government continues to talk about music as one of the UK’s strongest exports, while cutting off opportunities for future artists

Smith said.

Underneath the Trigger Cut guitarist’s Facebook post, as well as sympathetic commenters, fellow musicians in similar shoes shared their own experiences. There were those who said that if the government was not supporting international artists, everyone should allow concerts on the island to see if the pressure had any visible effect.

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Others have shared their experiences of how to circumvent standard border crossing procedures and get to various places required for a visa” under a false name, with a fake tour book, claiming they will only sign up (i.e. spend money) and not perform (i.e. spend money on research) “.

the Watchman He also contacted the government to discuss the circumstances of the case. They received this response from a government spokesperson:

Musicians and performers are an important part of UK culture, just as the country attracts world-class performers and musicians from every corner of the planet. This is why we offer a special immigration option for creative workers. All visa applications are carefully considered on individual merit in accordance with the immigration rules. The application process is designed so that a decision on each visa application can be made based on the most accurate information and is fair to all applicants.

The spokesperson declined to comment on why the Trigger Cut tour did not comply with the above, why they were detained at the border, why they were subject to a special investigation, and why they were returned.