US indie artist Colleen Green has been forced to axe her Australian tour after she was locked up and booted out of the country by immigration authorities.
The American singer-songwriter was set to embark on a low-key down under trek with appearances scheduled in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Ballarat.
As SMH reports, she didn’t even bring a guitar with her, but a few items of merch in her luggage sussed out the Immigration Department enough to launch an investigation into the nature of her visit.
Following her arrival in Melbourne on Thursday, Green was detained in detention and then swiftly deported the next morning.
“The promoter of my Australian tour told me he had secured a visa for me and to just say I’m visiting friends and everything would be fine,” Green writes on Facebook. “I really had no reason to doubt this as I have travelled all over the world to perform and have done so many times under the pretence of ‘tourism’ with no incident.”
However, she continues: “After a very thorough search of my bags, the officers decided I was lying. They took my iPad, phone and passport. They looked up my tour dates on the internet … they took me to an interrogation room where I waited, was interrogated on tape, waited more, was interrogated more, waited more, and finally was told that my visa was being cancelled.”
Green has described the whole experience as “emotional, exhausting, and tumultuous”.
“I felt like a totally busted criminal dummy, when all I had been trying to do was play music and see a new country,” she writes. Although apparently it wasn’t all bad.
“I didn’t have to wait in any of those wack ass lines, and I also got to board the plane first,” she adds.
Meanwhile, a rep from the muso’s Aussie promoter Bone Soup has told SMH the company is “deeply saddened” and”deeply embarrassed” by the whole situation, adding that refunds would be being automatically sent to all ticket buyers.
“Letting down an artist and having her experience what she has, as well as letting her fans down, is a terrible thing,” the spokesperson says.
“This has been a harsh lesson and we have made a mistake that we will never make again. We are doing our best to allay the situation and reschedule a tour for the future.”