The Italian post-punk group, which had tried to enter the U.S. to play at member station KEXP and then at SXSW, says it was sent back to Italy by authorities after spending the night in jail.
Friday afternoon, the Italian trio Soviet Soviet posted a lengthy statement on Facebook explaining why it would not be keeping its U.S. tour dates this week and next: It had been deported.
The band, which is based in the city of Pesaro, landed in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. It was traveling under ESTA (also known as the Visa Waiver Program), which allows citizens of nearly 40 countries to travel to the United States without having to obtain a visa.
Such visas are frequently used by bands coming to the United States when they only are slated to play unpaid showcases, as paid work while traveling on an ESTA is prohibited.
According to the group, its three members were carrying a letter from its American record label explaining that the musicians were scheduled to perform a number of “promotional,” nonpaid performances in the U.S., including a live performance at member station KEXP in Seattle, as well as a showcase at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.