Turns out the Australian Government aren’t the only ones set to jack up visa fees for touring artists.
As Pitchfork reports, the US is about to slap a series of fee increases on their own immigration applications, one of which will impact “nonimmigrant workers” who travel to the States for business, including Aussie artists, actors, athletes and — yep — musicians.
Under the changes, it’ll be 42 per cent more expensive for Aussie musos and their teams to work or tour in the US of A, with the fee hike set to hit every single person entering the country to perform or work as part of an artist’s crew (including tour managers, roadies, etc).
From December 23rd of this year, the visa fee will surge from $325 USD per person to $460 USD per person.
What this essentially means is that our local musos will be copping it from both ends. While they’ll be taking a bigger financial hit if they want to tour the US, here at home it’s feared local artists will also suffer as a result of the Australian Government’s plans to hike visa fees for international artists touring our shores by a mind-boggling 600 per cent.
Live Performance Australia (LPA) reckons the move will “hit the financial viability of international tours, leading to fewer tours, reduced job opportunities for Australian performers and workers in the live performance industry, and higher ticket prices”.
So basically, it could deal our live music industry a massive blow, impacting every aspect of touring, from the price punters pay to see a band to the continued viability of major international (and local) packed festivals like Bluesfest, Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival.
Simultaneously, it looks very much like the Turnbull Government is set to axe funding to Sounds Australia, a hugely successful joint initiative from Australia Council and APRA AMCOS designed to help give Aussie artists a leg-up in international markets, like the US.
So yeah, pretty much local musicians will be up shit creek unless something is done to stop all of this.