Finland’s NIGHTWISH have posted the following message on their web site regarding the group’s cancelled North American dates: “Many fans have asked us why the shows in Canada had to be cancelled due to U.S. visa problems. The band’s manager Ewo Rytkönen explains: ‘The band COULD have done the shows in Canada, because we would not need Visas/Working Permits to Canada, since the band do have a second set of passports.’
‘However, since these second passports are NOT valid to enter to USA, even as a tourist, because they lack certain barcodes etc. which the US customs officials require in order to enter the country.
‘So, after doing these two shows in Canada, the band would have had to fly BACK to Finland and wait for the Visas from the US Embassy (they require that each & every person must come over to the Embassy to pick up his/her Visa/Passport.
‘So doing the tour this way would have meant that about three or four shows in the US would have been cancelled, not to forget that we would have had to buy an extra set of international flights for 17 persons, which would have been very expensive, since these flights would have been booked in the last minute.
‘So all in all, as disappointing it was to the Canadian fans and the band too, we just had to cancel the first three shows of the tour instead of flying overseas TWO times, losing even more money, maybe even losing the US Visas too (if we would have not gotten the suitable return flights back from Montreal in time) and not to cancel those four shows in the US, which would have made our routing as a nightmare.
‘In a situation like this there is no easy solution, you just have to take the one with the smallest damage, and this time it was the Canadian NW fans who had to suffer because of this, for which we all are truly, truly sorry about.
‘We are trying to reschedule the Canadian shows for the latter part of 2004, maybe even adding a second one to Montreal. Stay tuned.’ “