"We can’t do these shows without him..."
Perth indie rockers Pond won’t be able to make it to a huge US festival, Shaky Knees, or their Atlanta and Nashville tour dates, as vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Allbrook’s visa application still hasn’t been approved after three months of waiting.
Shaky Knees festival is taking place from this Friday, 5 until Sunday, 7 May.
If Pond weren’t facing significant visa processing issues, they would have performed at an event that boasts The Killers, Muse and The Lumineers as headliners, with Cypress Hill, Manchester Orchestra, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Mars Volta, Soccer Mommy, Future Islands, and more on the undercard.
Pond shared the devastating news yesterday in a social media post, which you can read in full below:
“It really sucks to have to make another one of these posts, but we have to cancel our Nashville and Atlanta tour dates, including our set at Shaky Knees.
“We applied for Nick’s visa over three months ago, but because of back-logs and bureaucratic bullshit due to the pandemic, he has still not yet been approved. We can’t do these shows without him.
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“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that the rest of the tour continues as promised and crossing our fingers we will hear about the approval this week so we can get on a plane to see you. We will update you by the end of this week with more news, good or bad.
“Really really grateful to anyone who has bought a ticket and a massive sorry to everyone who has to be refunded - we know it’s not easy loving a band from the most isolated city in the world, but we sure are honored [sic] ya do”.
Earlier this year, the US Department of Homeland Security dramatically increased the cost of P and O visas – the visas any performer needs to play shows for money in the US – by 260%.
P visas, in this case, issued to entertainers and artists and their crews, will now face a filing fee of $1,615 – a 251% increase from the previous price of $460.
The O visa, a longer-term visa for people with an “extraordinary ability” in the arts will be charged a $1,655 fee over the previous $460. That’s a 260% increase.
Sounds Australia said about the move, “Touring in the U.S. 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.”