Every year thousands of DJs from across the World apply for a nonimmigrant visa to perform in the USA. Normally they get invited to play a festival or a high profile club, but due to the cost of the flights the venue will suggest getting another couple of shows booked in - then one thing leads to another and it becomes a tour. The DJ then needs to apply for a work visa and provide an itinerary for the tour, press clippings, a discography, character reference and an invitation before an interview at their nearest U.S embassy can be arranged. If you think filling out an ESTA is hard, well, this is an ESTA on steroids.
Berlin-based producer Shackleton recently made the news after his temporary US work visa application was denied. The British artist, who came to fame through the Skull Disco imprint, was due to play a Bunker party in New York, as well as Detroit's Movement Festival. Shackleton is just another addition to the long list of DJs and performers who've had their nonimmigrant US artist visa applications denied. A list that also includes Marcel Dettmann, Ricardo Villlalobos, Paul Woolford, Roosevelt and many more. Surely, with so much money at stake, especially for those organising the events, turning away crowd pullers is detrimental to the US economy. So what's going wrong? DJB talks to those involved to find out more.