How to Get an 11-piece German Marching Techno Band on Tour in the US – Pollstar News


– Pack before playing a “guerrilla concert”, which the group likes to do.
This one took place in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

There aren’t many German artists who can successfully tour the US, but techno band Meute is one of them. Their second US tour, “Meute Live,” includes performances at Coachella and iconic venues like Chicago’s House of Blues.

Meute is getting closer to the public in Detroit.
Jennifer Schmid
– Meute is getting closer to the public in Detroit.
The show took place on October 13, 2019, during the group’s last visit to the United States.

Meute breaks all the rules of the genre with their fusion of brass band and techno sounds, all done using only acoustic instruments. They created viral hits, packed clubs and got props from electronic music pioneers Dixon and Laurent Garnier, as well as broadcasts on BBC Radio 1 among many other stations. Currently, Meute is generating excitement around their long-awaited new album, Taumel, which is set to arrive on the band’s own label, Tumult, later this year.

UTA’s Christian Bernhardt, who represents the band in North and South America, told Pollstar: “Our interest in signing artists often comes from a simple desire to want to see and experience their show live for ourselves. after watching some of the Pack videos circulating on YouTube, we knew this group was special and we had to get involved to help them succeed.

Adam Ogushwitz, another UTA music agent, added: “While booking tours for such a large band comes with obvious difficulties, these challenges actually make it more exciting and rewarding when all the strategic development and execution bear fruit.”

Meute’s U.S. tour kicks off March 23 at the Royale in Boston and concludes with Coachella’s second weekend shows, April 22-24. The 11-piece Hamburg phenom will also tour Chicago, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Denver and more.

The crowd at the SAT electronic music temple in Montreal.
– The crowd at the SAT electronic music temple in Montreal.
Meute plays a different beat than any marching band you’ve heard of.

The American series of “Meute Live” is between a long list of European dates. Most of the dates, especially the German concerts, had been pushed back to later in the year at press time.

This is the second North American trek for Meute, which made its first US tour in October 2019. This run started at U Street Music Hall in Washington DC and ended with a sold-out party. at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Other sold-out shows included Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY, (880 tickets sold and $15,000 in revenue, according to Pollstar’s Boxoffice); Bottom Lounge in Chicago and The Roxy Theater in West Hollywood, as well as two concerts in Canada – SAT in Montreal and Adelaide Hall in Toronto.

It takes a lot to bring an 11-piece marching band from Germany to the United States, with or without the added logistical challenges of the coronavirus. Pollstar asked trumpeter and band founder Thomas Burhorn how they pulled it off. He said the band and crew purchased P-1 (band) and P-1S (crew) visas, which are only valid for one year. According to Burhorn, the process “is quite expensive and time consuming. Alternatively, there is the O visa, which is valid for three years, but costs much more and is even more difficult to obtain.

Pack performing at a sold-out Brooklyn Bowl in New York City.
– Pack performing at a sold-out Brooklyn Bowl in New York City.
The band will return to tour the United States in March.

The visa fee is around $10,000, “this includes our agent’s legal fees, normal visa fees, express fees, etc. for 16 people,” Burhorn explained. “You have to add the cost of appointments at the embassy. As it is very expensive to make these appointments,

it is also advisable to have it go through an agency. Costs here about €300 per person. In addition, there are travel costs for maintenance appointments [at the embassy], which are only possible in Berlin and Munich. So I estimate all amounts at around $15,000 for the visa process alone.

“The notebook comes on top of that. It’s about $1,000 and it takes an awful lot of time to get it done by an agency and approved by the Chamber of Commerce and customs inspection.

Burhorn said that while it was easy enough to book band members’ flights through a regular travel agency, it was quite difficult to find overnight companies on site for the duration of the tour. All of this takes time, of course.

“For the October 2019 tour, we have already started the first steps a year in advance. Today everything is going a bit faster, but we are already starting to plan another run for May/June 2023 in America Especially with visas, it pays to start in time to save the express fee, which is almost $3,000 in our case, and unfortunately we were unable to save this fee.

“As well as involving our booking agency, the travel agency, the carnet agency and the visa agency, there is also work to be done to get Meute management to provide all sorts of evidence like letters of recommendation and a huge amount of recent press reviews and festival flyers to get the visa in. And as soon as that was all done, our tour manager Kirsten [Söhl] can begin preparing production for on-site locations.


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