Afrobeats Performances Affected by Visa Application Bottlenecks

visa application

It has been made apparent that Afrobeats artists continue to face challenges when they apply for UK visas. With the rise of Afrobeats and a strong contingent of the fanbase being in the United Kingdom, you can imagine the traffic British immigration is having at processing VISA’s to enable Nigerians and other Afrobeats artists around Africa to go and perform in the UK.

The knowledge that Wizkid was able to sell out Tottenham’s London Stadium just a few weeks back. Imagine the influx of Nigerian fans flooding into the UK coupled with other emerging artists trying to go to the UK as well as asylum seekers. Furthermore, more importantly, rising stars in the industry are becoming increasingly unable to perform in front of British audiences due to visa delays.

Wizkid - Full Concert - Live at Tottenham Stadium London. 29 July 2023

According to Jennifer Imion, who is the operations manager at Mavin Records, which is a Lagos-based music label, the costs and delays associated with UK visa applications have jeopardized performances in the future. It is estimated that for every 10 visa applications made in the past, four were delayed to the point of needing to postpone or cancel the trip.

This is very unfortunate and something needs to give going forward. Objectively speaking you can understand the plight of the African record labels. However, given the track record of past African Visa applications greater care needs to be considered in the application process. There are other underlying political reasons which make the whole process prickly and you can understand the turnaround time of processing. But again as I said we cannot be content with the second-rate or slovenly. There is a lot at stake and Afrobeats is a growing industry which the UK industry stands to benefit greatly from.

As Afrobeats continues to dominate let us see how the British government reacts as I am sure there is a resolution in the near future.

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