Dart Music International (DMI) is a cultural 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that introduces the modern world to people in the USA through today's music.
We assist rock, pop, jazz, blues, alternative/indie, and electronic artsits from all over the world - helping them obtain work visas, appear at cultural outreach events, and reach audiences across the USA.
Since 2008 DMI has produced more than 50 free events and concert tour performances. Working with more than 250 artists, we have presented the modern cultures and countries of 40 countries from every inhabited continent - and space!
In the wake of the 2017 Executive Order regarding Visas and Immigration, there has been increased public sensitivity to impacts on travelers. Controversy was stirred up prior to SXSW when a Brooklyn musician noticed some alarmingly harsh language in the official performing artist agreement indicating the festival could potentially report a band who violates the terms of the Visa Waiver Program. This applies to bands who choose to travel under a special "showcasing exemption" in the Visa Waiver Program that allows musicians to perform at the festival under very limited conditions. This is the reason we always advocate for bands to obtain a proper Work Visa.
"I don't know how un-scary you can make it, (Dave Dart) says. When I speak to bands, I think I may be more blunt, because the possible consequences
for violating the immigration rules are very severe. Artists can be banned from entering country for 10 years, or (be) declined entry and sent home at
their own expense." - Peter Blackstock, Austin360,
UPDATE: SXSW to review and amend immigration language in artist contracts
"When I speak to a band from another country I try to explain to them all their options, and that if you come on the visa waiver program then you agree to come over in a very limited circumstance." (said Dave Dart). "You're saying you'll only come to play these narrow parameters, whereas if you come on a normal work visa then you can come and do a large tour, sell merchandise and do all that normal stuff. If you think you can get a career here, get a work visa." - Chad Swiatecki, Austin Monitor, SXSWTF? Dissecting a music festivals immigration PR meltdown
Many international bands experienced visa and travel issues this year, even some with Work Visas. During the Amigos Internactionales show KVUE interviewed Dave and Matthew Covey of Tamizdat about the issue. From our lineup, only the guys from Duotang experienced any extra questioning by Customs when they arrived. Our appeals to Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Mayor Steve Adler were instrumental in getting the visa application approved for Iranian rock band The Muckers as well.
We will continue to work with our Government representatives, other organizations, international artists, and the public to ensure the vital cultural exchange that occurs through international music events continues. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation and/or joining our FaceBook Page.
Friday, March 17, 2017 from Noon til 9pm
We got to meet lots of friends from Austin and around the world, including great reunions with menwhopause, one of the first bands we supported back in 2008 and Rod Slaughter of Duotang, who was with us way back in 2005 as part of Novillero. The legendary Del Castillo Trio treated us to a spectacular (trio) reunion, The one and only Patricia Vonne joined Joe King Carrasco for a magical impromptu duet, and both Joe and The Band of Heathens brought Guero's Oak Garden to full capacity.
12:00 PM The Valery Trails - Australia 12:45 PM Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - USA 1:30 PM Duotang - Canada 2:15 PM PuraPharm - HTX 3:30 PM Count Vaseline - Ireland 4:15 PM Obscured by Echoes - ATX 5:00 PM Ulrich Ellison and Tribe - Austria 5:45 PM The Band of Heathens - ATX 6:30 PM menwhopause - India 7:15 PM Joe King Carrasco - ATX 8:15 PM Del Castillo Trio - ATX
"Music From Space" - Astronaut Cady Coleman from the International Space Station for the Dart Music International House: