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Pond Cancel Entire US Tour As Singer's Visa Remains Unapproved

10 May 2023 | 9:07 am | Mary Varvaris

"We wish we could be with you this month - this is what we love to do, it’s what brings us life fun and wonder - but powers that be wouldn’t let it be."

Pond @ the Astor Theatre

Pond @ the Astor Theatre (Pic by Karen Lowe)

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Last week, Pond were forced to cancel US tour dates in Nashville and Atlanta, including their appearance at Shaky Knees festival, which would have happened over the weekend. The cancellation occurred after vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Allbrook’s visa application still hasn’t been approved after months of waiting.

This morning, the Perth rockers issued another dreadful update regarding their US tour: the entire run has been cancelled.

Pond's US tour would have kicked off in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, 11 May, with two dates in Mexico on 19 and 20 May before ending the run in Los Angeles on 24 May.

“We are so extremely devastated to have to make the announcement that we can’t proceed with our North American tour due to Nick's Visa not being approved,” the band wrote on Facebook today, assuring their fans in the US that refunds will be available from the site of purchase.

Pond also noted that on last week’s post regarding the cancellation of some shows, they noticed multiple questions about what happened. In today’s post, the band explained:

“Our Visa Attorney and Management began the (wildly expensive) process of Nick's Visa renewal (while his other Visa was still valid) almost a year ago on July 6, 2022.

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“Nick had his interview in February in Sydney and based on our previous experiences he should have had his Visa issued by now. In the past it's taken 2 weeks to a month to receive approval after the interview process. The post Covid world has made these processes much more grueling, expensive and as it turns out extremely slow.

“We spent this past weekend trying to find a financially viable way to make this tour work without the shows in the US, but have been told it's not possible with the cost of freight and flights.

“This wasn't the outcome any of us were hoping for or expected. We have been practicing a new set with new songs that we were so excited to play for you guys.

“To everyone who bought tickets, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish we could be with you this month - this is what we love to do, it’s what brings us life fun and wonder - but powers that be wouldn’t let it be. we promise we will get back to the states AND MEXICO as soon as possible.”

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%.

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.”

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.