Spanish Hip-hop Group Cancel U.k. Gig Over Visa Issue
Spanish rap group Ojos de Brujo have been forced to cancel a concert in the U.K. after two Cuban bandmembers were blocked from entering the country.
The Grammy-winning artists were scheduled to perform a short tour, starting at London's Roundhouse on Monday (27Apr09), but Ojos de Brutos never left Madrid, Spain, after the British consulate there refused to hand Carlitos Sarduy and Enrique Ferrer visas to enter the country. Their Spanish bandmates were allowed to travel under European Union law.
Band manager Jemima Cano tells Billboard, "This is a terrible hassle. London is really important for us, it's the music capital of Europe. Apparently, the consulate was not happy with the sponsorship certificate, which requires a letter of invitation from the promoter (in London).
"They (also) refused to accept that Enrique and Carlitos had enough money for the visit - it's absurd, we (the band's management) were going to pay everything. Enrique and Carlitos are legal residents in Spain, but with Cuban passports.
"The problem in this case is that they are Cubans, and we know how many people in the West view that."
Cano has vowed to fight for visas so the band can perform shows in Liverpool and Edinburgh later this week (ends01May09).