Frenzal Rhomb On Not Touring The US: 'Check Out The Hike In Visa Costs'

29 May 2024 | 12:35 pm | Mary Varvaris

The visa application fee for an international artist to tour the US has risen by over 250%.

Frenzal Rhomb

Frenzal Rhomb (Source: Supplied)

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Frenzal Rhomb have taken to social media and addressed why they don’t have plans to tour the US, citing the hike in visa costs for international artists.

“Before anyone asks us why we’re not touring your beautiful country again, check out the hike in visa costs to tour the US,” the band wrote, referring to music journalist Alan Cross’s recent article, “The new visa fees for foreign artists are out. This is not good. In fact, this is an all-out DISASTER.”

In their post, the Aussie punks also tagged industry bodies Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, Creative Australia, and the Association of Artist Managers (AAM).

Cross’s article notes that before the 1st of April, the visa application fee for an international artist went from US$460 per person to between US$1,615 and US$1,655 per person, regardless of the size of the group or its popularity heading to the US. “That’s an increase of more than 250%,” Cross wrote.

Further in the article, Cross mentioned how drastically four-member bands like Frenzal Rhomb have been affected by the cost, stating that before the changes, a band of four people could get the necessary visas for US$1,840. Now, it costs as much as US$6,620.

That price only covers the band, not the additional members like sound engineers and roadies (if a band has them), managers and publicists, family members, security, people in charge of sound and lighting, or backup dancers.

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The visa costs need to be paid in advance, with payments for an expedited process costing an additional US$2,805 – per person and paid in advance. Worse still, artists won’t receive refunds if the visa is rejected.

Last year, local music export body Sounds Australia called on the Australian music industry to take action against the changes in visa costs for international artists before the new prices were enacted.

In a statement, they said, “Touring in the US is already prohibitive, and these proposed changes will add further financial burden and significantly impact Australian exporting artists, professionals and crew seeking to work in the USA on P and O visas.”

In April 2023, Frenzal Rhomb returned with their first album in six years, The Cup Of Pestilence.

Alluding to the COVID-19 pandemic, partying, and hot riffs, the band said about the album in a statement, “We’ve done a new album! Took us a while because, you know, gestures everywhere, but we did it.”

Before anyone asks us why we’re not touring your beautiful country again, check out the hike in visa costs to tour the...

Posted by Frenzal Rhomb on Tuesday, May 28, 2024