Photo: Spanish Singer Pitingo Cancels U.S. Concert Debut Due to Visa Mishap
The Spanish singer known as Pitingo was forced to cancel his planned U.S. debut in New York last month when he was denied a visa because he shares his real name with someone on the Department of Homeland Security’s no-fly list.
The New York Times revealed the situation in a story in which it denounces the difficulties foreign artists have in traveling to the United States.
It had been scheduled that Pitingo would bring his flamenco fusion to New York for a March 9 performance in the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center, but three days before that date and with the tickets already sold his publicist announced the cancellation of the concert due to problems with the visa.
The Times explained that when the artist went to pick up his visa at the U.S. consulate in Madrid, he was told that his name was on the no-fly list.
Pitingo’s real name, Antonio Manuel Alvarez Velez, is the same as that of another person included on that list and the time it took to clear up the confusion made it impossible for the singer to travel to New York on time and he had to cancel the concert, the newspaper said.
The daily said that the cancellation resulted in losses of about $25,000 for the promotors of the concert, adding that Pitingo’s case is one of many that have affected artists all over the world since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“American visa procedures for foreign artists and performers have grown increasingly labyrinthine, expensive and arbitrary, arts presenters and immigration lawyers say, making the system a serious impediment to cultural exchanges with the rest of the world,” according to the Times article.