Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ending the Music

There are reports that the opening concert of this year’s Spitalfields Festival almost had to be cancelled  because of Border Agency officials.

The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra were due to play at Christchurch Spitalfields, the festival’s principal venue;  but when they arrived at Gatwick on Friday afternoon three of the orchestra’s members were arrested, held in detention for five hours, and then sent back to Amsterdam. The multi-national orchestra’s founder and conductor, the harpsichordist and organist Ton Koopman said:

 “They kept them in detention like criminals and they weren’t even allowed to give us their music – because they were criminals, of course. It was a disgraceful way to behave, and I had to leave them there in order to be in time for the concert.”

The three musicians, violinists and a viola player, who  had come from Spain via Amsterdam, where their passports were said not to have been stamped properly, are Japanese.

This is a seriously nasty piece of behaviour, yet another piece of officious jobsworthyness on the way to  England becoming A State of Denmark.


a musician said...

and the concert even got a review, slightly polemical about the change of programme:


but why did they go ahead with the concert without rescuing the musicians first?

hatfield girl said...

Presumably the musicians themselves told the orchestra to go on without them. 'Making a fuss' is thought a bit unprofessional isn't it, Musician?

Extraordinarily aggressive of the border guards. They MUST have known what they were doing and just wanted to have a go at 'elitists'. Better to ignore the insult.

Nomad said...

Has anybody enquired how many of these 'officials' were in fact indigenous English? Was there no supervisor with discretion and common sense on hand who could have dealt with this idiocy on the spot?

Nearly every time I encounter officialdom on my travels in and out of the UK the faces seem to be of a darker hue than one used to meet. Just saying...

Last time I went to OZ there was a mix up with my passport/visa. I had not noticed that the electronic visa I had, which I had printed out and stapled to my passport, contained a typo which changed my date of birth by one year. No problem going in as I was just registered as a new visitor, but coming out the immigration officer noticed the discrepancy so I was called to one side for a chat with a senior officer. he immediately saw what had happened and with a click of his mouse made the necessary changes. The whole episode was dealt with in under three minutes. But then again the Aussies have not been subject to the Shiirley Williams' education desecration for the past 40 years which probably helped. I shall refrain from a further visit until this visa expires in a couple of months.