Some international bands report trouble getting to SXSW

International bands showcase their skills

The spirit of Austin is present throughout South by Southwest, but one of the reasons the event is so popular is its international flavor. 

But President Trump's new executive travel order coupled with more stringent immigration checks has drawn attentional away from some of the performances. Now, some events are trying to reverse that.

Dave Dart with Dart Music International and Matthew Covey with Tamizdat Artist Services have been assisting SXSW international artists obtain visas for years.

They shared their thoughts on this year's conference. 

"There's been a handful of kind of strange occurrences where artists were coming appropriately on the visa waiver and the visa waiver was just revoked just before they traveled.  There's not a massive uptick in problems, but there are definitely issues we haven't seen before," Covey said.

"These kinds of showcases, too, where we have American bands with international bands, it helps to make that point that this is about music and that these people that are from other countries - refugee, or immigrant, or whatever, they're people," Dart added.

Most recently, Dart said he worked with Mayor Steve Adler and Representative Lloyd Doggett to help facilitate a visa for an Iranian rock band.

Covey noted that while it's difficult to say if there's been a true increase in visa-related issues, there's certainly been more media attention on the topic.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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