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EFA, Pearle* release EU visa guide for managers

The European Festival Association (EFA) and Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe) have released a new guide to visas for Europe’s Schengen area, aimed at artist managers and promoters.

The booklet, The Ultimate Cookbook for Cultural Managers: Visas for third-country national artists, was presented at last week’s EFA Arts Festivals Summit, and explains who needs a visa to travel to the 26-country Schengen area; the validity of a Schengen visa; types of visas; and the application procedure.

“Cross-border working, touring and international collaboration are found deep in the DNA of the live performance sector,” reads a statement from Pearle*, which represents more than 7,000 music and performing arts organisations across Europe. “Inside these cookbooks, the reader will find the necessary ingredients and a number of recipes for cooking these ‘cooperation dishes’. Like all cooks, one is free to add spices, flavourings or other ingredients, depending on taste and needs.”

Click here to download the visa ‘cookbook’ from the EFA website.

Pearle* warned last month that plans to increase the cost of short-stay artist visas to the Europe would hurt the “already vulnerable financial situation” of the European live entertainment sector.

Photo: SchengenVisaInfo.com

 


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EU visa fee hike ‘would hurt European touring’

Industry association Pearle* has warned that plans to increase the cost of short-stay visas for the EU by a third would negatively affect the “already vulnerable financial situation” of the European live entertainment sector.

Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), which represents more than 7,000 live music and performing arts organisations across Europe, issued the warning today in response to the unveiling of plans for a new common EU visa policy by the European Commission.

While Pearle* largely welcomes the commission’s recommendations – which, among other things, would reduce the window for visa decisions from 15 to ten days, allow longer validity for multiple-entry visas and enable EU member states to issue temporary short-term visas directly at their borders – saying a “harmonised approach” towards visas is a “step in the right direction”, it “deplores” proposals to increase the visa fee from €60 to €80 (+33.3%), as the cost would fall on event promoters/organisers.

Commenting on the good news, Anita Debaere, director of Pearle*, says: “Europe is renowned for its great offering and access to culture, but artists increasingly experience difficulties coming to Europe for performances because of visa issues. It’s a waste of time, effort and investment for both the host and artists – and what a disappointment for the audience if an excellent artist can’t perform in Europe because of visa issues.”

“Artists increasingly experience difficulties coming to Europe for live performances”

On the proposed hike in costs, meanwhile, the association “calls upon the co-legislators [the European parliament and Council] to foresee an exemption in the case of visa applications by touring groups and maintain the initial fee of €60 in such cases.

“When the visa fee becomes a third more expensive it comes on top of the already substantial costs for touring groups – for example, an orchestra with 100 musicians, or a circus group with 80 artists and touring staff – including the travel, accommodation, subsistence costs, artists fees, promotional costs, technical costs and more.”

The European Commission contends, however, that even at €80 an EU visa would be priced “relatively low by international standards”, especially as compared to the United States, where a tourist visa is $160 (€133) – and a working visa is priced far higher, beginning at $460.

 


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