Artist Touring Visa Fees for the United States Raised by 42 Percent

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

It is about to get tougher to bring up-and-coming artists from outside of the United States into the country for a tour.

Starting in December, the US will be raising touring visa fees needed by foreign artists and DJs by a total of 42%. The Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, mandatory for all artists, musicians and others including DJs to travel to the United States to work, will increase from $325 per person to $460, and will become active as of December 23rd of this year.

The fee applies for every person that enters the United States to perform or work as part of the artist’s crew, including tour managers, members of accompanying bands, etc.

The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) had their say about the increase: “A fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members,” said executive director Liana White. Jason Garden, Smartbar Chicago’s talent buyer, gave his input with a statement to Resident Advisor:

As long as I’ve worked at smartbar, the US visa process has been a bit of a thorn in our side. While I completely understand the need to document and tax folks who are working in the US, the process itself is often drawn out and expensive to the point that it interferes with the artists and venues the government is trying to serve. While the increase in fee is probably nominal for some larger artists with managers and agents (and often lawyers) who can lobby on their behalf, it makes it increasingly (often prohibitively) difficult for emerging talent to break into the US market.

Additionally, these delays and added costs often make the process unpredictable such that we routinely have to cancel or postpone events at the last minute due to unexpected visa complications—which is not only disappointing for fans, but a huge financial burden for those parties looking to make the events happen. On a just the surface level, clubs and artist devote their (often limited) resources to planning a tour and promoting a night, only to have the opportunity ultimately rest at the less-than-stellar expediency of the visa office. Accordingly, it makes it very difficult to have the confidence required to schedule events with new artists and discourages attempts to bring fresh faces over to American audiences.

When a show can’t happen at the last minute, literally everyone involved loses out (except, of course, the visa office, whom it does not affect in any way). To drive home the point, we, as a club, lose a massive amount of business (promotional costs, operational costs, refunds, forfeited booking fees, angry patrons, etc.) and the artist has wasted their own resources (flights, legal fees, lost wages, etc.). It’s not hard to imagine what a burden such a last minute cancellation would be for smaller venues or underground promoters. We are lucky that we can largely absorb such losses—for many others these losses can be catastrophic.

So, while the upfront money is certainly part of the problem, the unpredictability and difficulty of the process is perhaps an equal or greater obstacle for all parties involved.

H/T: Resident Advisor

Minimal Effort LA To Bring Stephan Bodzin, Recondite, Francesca Lombardo and more for NYE

Photo by: Conner Lee Coughenour Photography

Photo by: Conner Lee Coughenour Photography

This past Saturday night, Los Angeles saw the Minimal Effort brand move to a fresh new location at the Los Angeles Center Studios, taking their concept to the next level with two outside stages and an inside room for 10 hours of music to celebrate Halloween weekend.
MENYEThis coming New Year’s Eve they do it all over again at their new home, promising to continue to bring a fine lineup selection of underground dance music acts that focuses on house with a splash of techno. NYE flyers posted around the venue during the Halloween affair confirmed the musical direction the brand is taking, with a quality selection of artists scheduled to play live sets this upcoming New Year’s Eve including Recondite, Audion, Henry Saiz, Nicola Cruz and Stephan Bodzin, who will be making his Los Angeles debut for the occasion. Attendees will also be treated to DJ sets by Simian Mobile Disco, &ME, Chrome SparksFrancesca Lombardo and the ever-popular Desert Hearts Crew among others.

Added: Today Minimal Effort revealed Phase I of their lineup for NYE which includes all the above artists and the addition of Dirtybird’s Sacha Robotti.

More acts will be confirmed in the following weeks for the event which will run from 4pm until 2am with 3 indoor and outdoor stages, 20+ DJs and 10 hours of music.

Head over to Minimal Effort’s NYE official event page for info and updates. Tickets will be going on sale soon so ensure you RSVP to the event for up-to-date information on first tier release date.

 

Connect with Minimal Effort: Tickets | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Moby on Donald Trump, “He Is The Worst Of The Worst”

Donald Trump Moby

It’s no surprise to see Moby voice strong opinions on politics. After all, the American DJ, singer, songwriter and producer is known for his electronic music, veganism and support of animal rights, always quick to speak up for beliefs he holds true to his heart.

After earlier comments on the subject of Donald Trump, Moby once again went on record labeling the Republican Presidential candidate as “the worst of the worst,” although he is noted that he is satisfied that at least Trump’s divisive antics have seemed to unify the Democratic party under the leadership of Hillary Clinton.

In a recent interview with Best Fit, Moby stated, “He is a cancer scare for cigarette smokers – he has got Democrats and progressives and the left in the United States motivated and united in ways they have never been before. He is a one man Vietnam War. I’m grateful for that – for being so terrible. If he was less terrible he would be scaring us less and we might be less motivated.”

He went on to say, “Donald Trump is the worst of the worst of the worst – he’s an entitled, ignorant sociopath who maligns women, minorities, veterans, disabled people, and just look at the recent debate. The only world leaders he praised were Putin and Assad.”

Trump’s outlandish and controversial claims have often landed him on the front of newspapers, with a divided country both supporting and denouncing his every word. Regarding that, the LA-based artist stated, “this feels like bizarre, mescaline-inspired, weird, Hunter S. Thompson-esque fiction. I just can’t believe that this is real, but then he just keeps getting worse. He keeps digging himself further into this trench of manure. It’s mind boggling.”

With Election Day in the United States on November 8, Moby is definitely not the first electronic music artist to speak up with his views against the Republican candidate.

Sasha Set To Perform His Back Catalogue Live For The First Time Ever in 2017

Sasha Dj profile

Sasha has had an impressive 2016 so far. An all-around-the-world touring schedule coupled with the return behind the decks alongside John Digweed has kept him as relevant as ever at the forefront of the ever-changing landscape of dance music.

2017 will see the British-born producer perform live at the Barbican. The 20th of May re-Fracted (live) show is set to feature a specially-curated performance that will marry this year’s Scene Delete album, which came out on Late Night Tales, together with material from his back catalogue, synths, drum machines, live instruments and vocalists.

Like the best of his DJ sets, Scene Delete is a journey. With Sasha joined on stage by a small chamber ensemble, the album unfolds as one brooding, undulating piece that flows from start to finish, sounding somewhere between the dark, weightless soundscapes of Burial and the music modern composers like Nils Frahm, akin to fellow Late Night Tales artists Jon Hopkins and Bonobo.

“I spent quite a long time considering what exactly I could do as a ‘live’ performance as it’s something I have never done before. Luckily there has been a new wave of electronic musicians and composers pushing the boundaries with what can be done in this environment.

“I have DJ’ed to all kinds of crowds before from intimate 150 people after hours clubs to 200K people at a rave in a field. This is something totally alien and new to me, though.”

Unsurprisingly, the event sold out a full seven months in advance in under 45 minutes.

Connect with Sasha: Online | Resident Advisor | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

Insomniac Brings Back On-Site Drug Education For First Time in 10 Years

Escape Insomniac

Insomniac, the Unites States’ largest electronic dance music promoter and event organizer, has announced an exciting new partnership with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

Beginning this weekend at Escape: Psycho Circus in San Bernardino, about an hour east of Los Angeles, the collaboration will see on-site drug informational material being passed out to festival attendees in an effort to educate on the subject of mind-altering substances, sex and mental health.

Called ‘Project: #OpenTalk’, the initiative will provide unbiased information with the purpose of beginning and continuing an open dialogue that aims to reduce the number of drug-related health incidents and deaths. This is the first time Insomniac works closely with an advocacy group of this type in the last 10 years, likely prompted to do so by the increased scrutiny into festival-related hospitalization and deaths.

“While Insomniac still has a zero tolerance drug policy and conducts entry searches, they at least acknowledge that more needs to be done to keep their attendees informed and safe,” said Stefanie Jones of DPA’s Safer Partying campaign explained in an official statement.

Connect with Insomniac: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Connect with Drug Policy Alliance: Online | Facebook | Twitter

Schimanski NYC Nightclub Opening in Brooklyn on Site of Old Verboten

Schimanski NYC

The rumors have been confirmed: the site that once used to host Verboten nightclub in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood will soon be home a brand-new venue. And by soon we mean starting with this upcoming Halloween night on Monday!

Schimanski is scheduled for a soft opening on October 31st with a special Halloween Party featuring Special Guests TBA. Info and RSVP is available on the venue’s official website. The official fun will begin the following weekend when the club is set to host Edu Imbernon, Eli & Fur and Jon Charnis on Friday November 4th; and Tiger & Woods, Morgan Geist and Jacques Renault the following day on Saturday November 5th.

The building at 54 N 11th St. used to be the home of Verboten and has been empty since spring when the state seized the property after an investigation that revealed $360,000 worth of unpaid sales tax and arrested owner Jen Schiffer on fraud charges. Schimanski, which is named after a fictional character from a 1981 German crime series, began a round of rumors when posters were spotted across Brooklyn promising quality lineups catering to the underground dance music scene.

The spotted Schimanski poster, which you can see below, includes the officially announced artists mentioned above, as well as other scheduled for the remainder of the Fall 2016 season including Radio Slave, wAFF, Breakbot, Lauren Lane,  Mat.Joe, Monoloc, Delta Functionen, Volvox, Paul Raffaelle, Sascha Dive and Veronica Vasicka.

Schimanski Poster

 

Connect with Schimanski: Online | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Win 2 VIP Tickets to Inception Saturdays at Exchange LA ft. Alan Fitzpatrick, Matador, Dense & Pika

11-05-16_AlanFitzpatrick_828x315

On November 5th Exchange LA will be hosting a selection of techno artists as part of the venues Inception Saturdays series.

The event will essentially see a trifecta of headliners take over the Downtown Los Angeles club: English producer and DJ Alan Fitzpatrick, Irish techno stalwart Matador and British electronic production/DJ duo Dense & Pika. On support in the main room will be 6AM’s very own JIA, while the gallery will be hosted by Los Angeles’ Invert Music Group.

We are giving you the chance of winning 2 VIP tickets to the show. To enter, simply follow the instructions in the widget below. The winner will be selected and announced at noon on Saturday, November 5th.

Please note: If you are having difficulty opening/entering this contest via cell phone, try the following:

      1. Open this link directly on Safari or another designated web browser (not through the FB or Twitter apps)
      2. If the above fails, try via desktop computer.

Win 2 VIP Tickets to Alan Fitzpatrick, Matador and Dense & Pika at Exchange LA (Contest on Hive.co)

Coyu on Donald Trump, Suara’s New Fashion Store, His Favorite Genre and Playing in Los Angeles

Coyu banner

It’s ADE and Amsterdam is buzzing. The mid-October air is crisp cold yet everyone is still biking as if it’s summer out. I am rushing and weaving through late-morning traffic as, admittedly, I am running late for my interview with Iván Ramos, artist name Coyu, due to some unforeseen complications I ran into that morning.

Walking into the Miracle Management hub for ADE week I am greeted warmly by both Coyu and Bruno, who was kind enough to set up the interview during one of the craziest weeks of the year. I know Coyu doesn’t have much time — he is running a label and has a Suara showcase in Amsterdam that night, is opening a fashion store in Barcelona, oversees the Suara Foundation which benefits cats and of course is a successful producer and DJ in his own right. Literally just over a week following the interview (this weekend) he is scheduled to play Suara showcases in San Francisco first and then in Los Angeles for Underrated Presents’ Minimal Effort Halloween — a one-day festival in the heart of the city’s downtown area.

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Le Bataclan Set to Reopen a Year After Paris Attacks

Le Bataclan

Wednesday November 16th will mark the re-opening of Paris venue Le Bataclan following the deadly terrorist attacks that hit the French capital on November 13th of last year.

A total of 130 innocent victims were killed by terrorists following coordinated attacks on several locations throughout the French metropolis. Since then work has been done to rebuild the venue back to how it was prior to that fateful day, with Pete Doherty scheduled to play on re-opening night. The British artist recently announced new material inspired by the tragic events of last November and will be playing consecutive gigs on November 16th and 17th, followed by Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour on the 18th and 19th.

The first electronic music show will take place the week after on November 24th with Laurent Garnier set to headline a club night hosted by A.K.A, the booking agency co-managed by Nuits Sonores and Alias Production. Alongside the French DJ icon will be Voiron and Gordon, who will play back-to-back and Arnaud Rebotini, who is scheduled for a live performance.

Ten Things We Learned at ADE 2016

It’s Tuesday October 25th and the 21st edition of Amsterdam Dance Event ended less than 48 hours ago.

The whirlwind five-day conference and club festival was a marathon to say the least and for me, as a first time attendee of the conference itself (rather than just club events), a lesson on the power, scope and influence of ADE in today’s music industry. From Wednesday October 19th onwards until the early hours of Monday morning, the city of Amsterdam was entirely dedicated to the iteration of ADE, selling out the conference for the tenth consecutive year and breaking all sorts of records, totaling 550 speakers, over 2,200 artists in more than 140 venues, 1,000 events and approximately 375,000 visitors.

Life & Death at Thuishaven. Photo courtesy of Joris Bisschops

Life & Death at Thuishaven. Photo courtesy of Joris Bisschops

 

After attending several conferences and workshops, interviewing artists and networking with agents and publicists as well as attending nine different parties, I flew away from Amsterdam with absolutely no doubt of my intention to return in 2017, and with a few important lessons learned along the way:

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