Luka Bloom > Tour Archive > U.S. Shows Cancelled
Keeper Of The Flame 09 Aug 2001  Amagansett, NY - The Stephen Talkhouse
10 Aug 2001  New York City, NY - Irving Plaza
11 Aug 2001  Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel [7:00 + 10:00 pm]
13 Aug 2001  Boston, MA - McGann's of Boston
14 Aug 2001  Boston, MA - McGann's of Boston
17 Aug 2001  Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee Irish Festival
18 Aug 2001  Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee Irish Festival
19 Aug 2001  Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee Irish Festival
21 Aug 2001  Grand Rapids, MI - The Lawn of Gibson's Restaurant
23 Aug 2001  Chicago, IL - Old Town School Of Folk Music [7:00 + 9:30 pm]

From Bar/None Press Release,
August 13th, 2001

... And he wasn't the only victim of red, white, and blue bureaucracy: some of his fellow Irish artists who had planned to share the bill at the Milwaukee Irish Festival found themselves similarly stranded.

... But Luka vows to make it back to America later this year, ready to perform the unique cover songs that comprise Keeper of the Flame as well as new original material he has been recording in Ireland...

Irish Music Magazine - August 2001 - Vol 7 No 1

Irish Music Magazine Classic To Cutting Edge - Milwaukee Irish Fest Sets
The Stage for the Best of Summer Entertainment

... The music of internationally acclaimed folk rocker, Luka Bloom, retains the up-close-and-personal quality of Traditional Folk and oozes with a rock groove all his own. Also a Dublin native, Bloom's magnetic charm has won him a devoted following in the U.S. His tasteful, fuller arrangements add to the uniquely rich and powerful sound he delivers through songs of faith, struggle and affirmations.

onwisconsin live: music & night life

Milwaukee Irish Festival
Aug. 14 update:
Irish singer-guitarist Luka Bloom has canceled his appearances this weekend at Irish Fest because he was not able to obtain a visa, according to a spokesman for the event.

Other acts already set to play the festival have filled Bloom's performance slots.

Irish Abroad - Irish American News - 15 August 2001

Visa gloom for Bloom

The lights went out on Luka Bloom's "Keeper of the Flame" tour. No, the Irving Plaza show wasn't effected by this weekend's rolling blackouts: the man failed to show up! His publicist claims that the entire tour will be cancelled due to visa problems. This affected his appearance at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia, the pair of dates that he booked at McGann's in Boston, the Irish Festival in Milwaukee on the 18-20, and the Old School of Folk show in Chicago for the 23rd. Ticket holders should contact the venue where the tickets were purchased for a refund. It is hoped that the tour will be rescheduled.

Article by Mike Farragher; Irish Voice


From: To:
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 11:08 AM
Subject: [Lukalist] USA Tour

Urgent message to Americans thinking of attending Luka shows in the US.

It's Wednesday morning. I should be in the US, preparing for shows. Due to the total disregard of US immigration, my work visa application has yet to be examined; despite the fact that the application went in months ago.

So, here I am at home waiting to know if or when I can begin my tour. The Amagansett show is OFF. I am waiting daily for news, and reviewing daily the situation. If I don't have the visa by tomorrow, then Irving Plaza will be off, and so on......... I will update each morning.

Sincere apologies to all who were going to Amagansett. I am completely powerless in this situation.


From: To:
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 8:36 AM
Subject: [Lukalist] luka


I'm sitting in Dublin on the day of my first show in the US. Despite the fact that this tour has been under construction since April, I still do not have the necessary work permit to enter the US.

I'm a singer, not a lawyer, agent or manager, so I must delegate to others the responsibility to deliver these documents on time. Sadly, this has not happened. Heartbreaking though it is, I have made the decision to let go of the tour. Efforts have been made to acquire the permits, but it has been in vain. Perhaps the documents will emerge in time, but not in time for me to perform my duties in concert, and in PR for BARNONE Records.

At this moment, I simply don't know the precise cause of this mess; whether it's the fault of some new restrictive policy in US immigration, or whether it is simply due to inneficiency within my chosen representation. What I do know is that I must now make a stand, and a difficult decision. I want my work in America to be celebratory, as everywhere; this means that the various aspects of putting a tour together are properly attended to. Obviously at the moment, this is not the case.

I am absolutely gutted that I have been denied in this way, the opportunity to sing in the US. I apologise wholeheartedly to all the people who bought tickets for the shows, or who considered doing so. I will do my best to learn from this. I promise you that when given the opportunity, I will return to the US to sing for and with you all.

In the greater scheme of things, it's not the end of the world. But it is a tragedy for me, and I'm really sorry this has happened. We'll rise again.

God bless,

From: Jan Whalen To:
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 11:33 AM
Subject: [Lukalist] Luka's update


Thursday evening. I should be singing in Amagansett, and getting ready to go to Irving Plaza, and so on...... I still have no visa. I've missed a weeks work. After another disappointing morning at the US embassy, I finally surrendered.

Even if the visa came in tomorrow, I'd have missed the NYC and Philadelphia shows. It's totally heartbreaking. Going to America is such a positive uplifting experience, and so it should be. Since April, I've been looking forward to this tour, and it is absolutely shocking to me, that I have been so unnecessarily denied this great opportunity. Rather than try to scratch out a section of the tour, I have decided to make a stand, and say there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and this is wrong. From the bottom of my heart, I apologise to all who looked forward to these shows.

Please God, I will make it up to you soon. I want to come to the US and do great shows. This has been one of the toughest decisions in my working life. It was made for me, more than by me. I also suspect there is a policy change in the US, regarding visiting artists. I'm not the only one to have suffered this fate. That discussion is for another day. For now, I'm sad, and sorry.

Best wishes,

From: To:
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 8:25 AM
Subject: [Lukalist] luka bloom

Thank you for your collective understanding; I really appreciate it.
Though the visa would have come through in time for the last few shows, I took the extremely difficult decision to make a stand, and protest this treatment. One can't expect respect, if you don't respect yourself.

Here's a copy of the letter I just posted to the US ambassador in Dublin:

Dear Ambassador,

My name is Barry Moore. I'm an Irish singer/songwriter; working under the professional pseudonym of Luka Bloom. I am writing to you, as the foremost representative of the US government in Ireland. I know you are a busy man. However I hope you can spare a moment to hear my story, and protest, at the disgraceful treatment I have just experienced, at the hands of US immigration.

Since signing to Warner Bros. in Los Angeles in 1990, I have toured the US many times. It is always a thrilling experience; your countrymen and women being among the greatest of music lovers. There is a bureaucratic process one automatically engages in, at the onset of each visit. In the case of the US, it is always rigorous, but always worth it.
Until now.

Knowing we were releasing a new cd in the US in May, my american agent, record company, and I, began planning a US tour last April. As a matter of course, an application was sent in to immigration, to grant to my technician, and myself, a simple 3 week entertainment visa for August 6th. About 3 weeks ago, I suddenly realised that nobody was contacting me regarding visas. I was busy putting the finishing touches to my tour plans. Promotional work, preparation for concerts. Suddenly there was a panic. There was no sign of approval, and immigration was talking to nobody. As my US agent was dealing with this directly, I¹m a little unclear about the precise details, but this is the essence of it. In the 11th hour, my agent was informed that he could Ofastrack' the process, if he produced $2,000. Despite the surprise at this request, of course he agreed. The situation was desperate. We waited.And waited. Each day that passed last week, I lost a show. Shows in Manhattan, Philadelphia, the Hamptons. By the end of the week I had lost all my promotional activities, and 5 concerts. The momentum of the tour was lost. After 3 months, my approval had not arrived a whole week after the scheduled commencement. I cancelled the rest of the tour, in disgust, and in protest.

I have since learned that this is proving to be a particularly difficult year for artists visiting the US. The centre piece of my tour was to have been next weekend's Irish Fest in Milwaukee, the biggest celebration of Irish music in the world. They have confirmed to me, that they are having a nightmare year, processing visas. Many wonderful Irish performers are being denied entry, being deemed to be of 'insufficient eminence'!

I do not know if there is a shift in policy; but I am simply astonished at the shabbiness of my treatment. This treatment has a serious knock-on effect for many Americans.

My US record company, agents, promoters, all suffered. The cancelled hotel rooms, flights, all cause hardship. Not to mention the people who bought tickets to attend my concerts, US citizens, who simply assumed I would show up as always, to sing my songs for them.

I simply cannot believe that this is the way Americans wish to be represented, or that this is the way Americans would want visiting artists to be treated. I respect the fact that immigration is intensely busy, and that immigration is entitled to deny anybody entry to the US. All I feel entitled to expect for my application is a little respect, something I have experienced in every country I have sought to work in for 15 years. Except the US, in 2001.

Yours sincerely,
Luka Bloom


© Rena Bergholz - Luka Bloom Page