German band ditch UK tour after being treated “like criminals” at border, blame Brexit

Trigger Cut press shot
(Image credit: Trigger Cut)

Trigger Cut, a noise rock band from Stuttgart, Germany, have been turned away at the UK border ahead of a long-planned UK tour.

The band, whose third album Soot was released last year, were due to start their trip at the Bird’s Nest in Deptford, South London, on April 7, with the seven-show schedule finishing at Hatch in Sheffield on April 14.

In a post on Facebook, the band confirmed that they hadn’t been allowed to enter The UK, saying, “Today we got refused at the UK border for weird reasons. We would have needed a special certificate of sponsorship but no one knew before, not even the venues, the promoters or the German customs authority. Brexit bureaucracy? A post Brexit nightmare.

“We are so sorry. Our preparations concerning every detail of the tour were extremely good, we thought. All the customs shit was together, and we had our letters of invitation at hand. Last but not least, the whole procedure at the UK border was humiliating and sad.

“We are so so sorry but we cannot make the UK Tour happen. Brexit finally killed the cultural interaction between all of us. It was a sad experience. Take care. Hopefully see you soon.”

In a separate post, band frontman Ralph Schaarschmidt went into more detail about the band’s preparations for the tour, which included, “Months of planning, 1750km of driving to Calais and back to Stuttgart, van hire costs, paid-for expensive customs declarations, ferry tickets… all for nothing.”

“I don’t think I've ever felt so degraded, sad and bad as I do today,” he wrote. “We were completely unfairly rejected and were not allowed to enter the UK. We were handed over like criminals to the French border police and had to leave Calais. I'm really sorry that we couldn't play our long-planned concerts. It hurts so much! Sorry sorry sorry.”

Schaarschmidt also revealed that an earlier attempt by the band to tour The UK had been thwarted by Covid, before going on to thank “Boris, Brexit and incompetent UK Border Police.”

According to UK Immigration guidelines, entertainers entering The UK for work purposes require “a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from their sponsor(s) – the sponsor will be the UK business employing or sponsoring the artist or entertainer during their stay in the UK.” The guidelines go on to say that border police will expect musicians to provide a Certificate of Sponsorship reference number.

Trigger Cut cancelled tour poster

(Image credit: Trigger Cut)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.