During the chaotic backlash in response to President Trump's executive order on immigration, international artists were left unsure and distressed about their ability to perform and live in the US.
The process for musicians from the targeted countries to come and perform in the US was difficult enough before this; often taking artists months to get their visas, if they were even able to get them at all.
Iranian electronic musician Ash Koosha is all too familiar with this bureaucratic nightmare. In a statement made on indie label Ninja Tune's website he said: “I was about to travel to the USA last summer for the first time. Even though I spent a lot of money to start a petition in order gain entry (which was accepted) I still didn’t receive my visa on time. So my first tour in the US was cancelled due to ‘administrative processing’."
And in response to the travel ban he added that: “Personally, I won't be able to go on my USA tours, share my discoveries in sound and music or promote the first VR album experience in the biggest market in the world.”
Although a US federal appeals court was able to suspend the travel ban, Trump has stated that he is working on a revised version of the ban and, unfortunately, much of the damage has already been done.
Over 100,000 visas were revoked and many musicians were forced to cancel all concerts and tours in the US, and since these tours need to be booked so far in advance, agents have become wary of the economic risk involved in booking these artists from these areas during these uncertain times.
The ban has, however, seemed to make some artists, like Syrian singer Omar Souleyman, even more determined to share their work with the people of the US, despite the current political climate. "We don't plan to cancel anything” said Omar's Manager, Mina Tosti, in a statement published by Rolling Stone.
"Performing in the U.S. is of course hugely important to Omar – his audience is very large and significant not only in numbers but in enthusiasm and common spirit."