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Ever gone to the US?


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Last time I played in the U.S. we just went accross separately and told them we were going to a friend's party in NY. We had all of our gear checked with customs and the sent us on our way. This was pre 9-11 tho, so they're likely more strict now.

Might consider just going down as a tourist and renting gear there...

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The one snag with "pretend to be tourists" is merch: if you're bringing a box of CDs all of the same band, and a box of t-shirts (and stickers, or whatever; even a mailing list) of the band, they might start to get suspicious.

My advice: go legit. Go through the union, follow the stated procedures, fill out all the paperwork, all by the book. I try never to lie to customs/immigration people. I may not tell the whole story, but every statement I do make is the truth.

(And Tooly, it's not the US that sucks when it comes to allowing bands across. Addison Groove Project has been screwed over at the border [coming to Montreal] several times, including one time when they got delayed, and were allowed bring their CDs to sell, but not their t-shirts; I can't come up with any justification for that, except that Canada Customs was being abnormally picky.)



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Do not fuck around trying to sneak into the US to play without a work Visa. If you are caught you will be banned from ever playing in the US again. then you have to go get a pardon, just like a criminal.

To play there properly you need to join the musicians union in your area and go through them. The one bitch of it all is that after 9/11 the Americans make you wait 6 months to clear any visa. If you want it expidited you ahve to pay another ridiculously expensive fee.


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we went to see the dead in buffalo some time in the late 80's or early 90's and realized that our crappy last minute late booked serviced site in the state park meant we could take electric instruments. so we loaded up a bass, guitar, amps, and a small version of a drum kit along with tents and coolers and headed out.

big mistake.

after an hour of hanging about nervously behind door number one at customs, they took us each in for separate interviews. They then told us that if we did not have reciepts for the purchase of our instruments that they may be confiscated upon re-entering Canada. we finally convinced them that we were in fact not playing a gig but going camping, they let us enter the US.

i wouldn't want to try that or any variant now. from all the responses to this thread, looks like to only way to do it is nice and legal-like :)

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