Learning from the Past: The Swiss Screw Job

We’re firm believers of learning from past experiences. Dan Baird and Homemade Sin definitely has experiences that we all can learn from. Today, we revisit one of the more unfortunate events in their touring history.

As big fans, we tend to nurse old hurts—especially when it has something to with a band that we like. Today, we’re going to revisit a still sore point (with us, anyway) at around 2013 where Dan with his band were en route to another tour point.

Fans in Europe were all quite livid when this news came to light and for very good reason.

The Tale

The band along with their manager Mick Brown, were on their way into their next location one night. It all seemed to be a regular run of the mill border crossing and everything seemed fine. However, the band hadn’t even gotten a full on stop at the hotel parking when disaster struck.

The band’s van was immediately surrounded by other vehicles—there were spotlights everywhere—and yelling; A lot of yelling. Guns were raised by the Swiss Border Patrol. Dan and his band were told that they had violated a law by making use of a commercial vehicle to pass their border which was unmanned.

border - Learning from the Past: The Swiss Screw Job

From there, the band and their crew were herded back into their vehicle and taken back to the border. It was there that they were kept for a four hour long search and inquiry. The border patrol took out all their equipment and gear, along with band merchandise and called it “contraband”. What was utterly disrespectful was that the border police were having their photos taken with the “contraband”.

Further, it wasn’t like they were taking photos of the “contraband—they were posing with them. If that wasn’t bad enough, the band was then told that they were to be fined £9000. They were given around twelve hours to come up with the money or all their belongings were to be auctioned off online. The border police even showed the band the already up and running eBay ad regarding their van.

The band paid up and came to realize that everything was a scam. What was even more insulting was that Dan and his band couldn’t even make an appeal to get their funds back. It seems that they had fallen under a rather silly technicality about “proper procedure about border crossing” despite never having received any sort of documentation that explained the procedure.

The band even found out that their van did not violate any code at all since it did not fit the requirements of a “commercial” vehicle. It was an altogether horrid situation perpetuated by people who have no soul.

The Lesson

When you’re a band travelling, it is critical that you read up on border crossing procedures. Know your rights and not let your belongings be seized without proper documentation and protocol. Know the avenues that you can call. Always know the number of your embassy whenever you’re visiting a foreign country.

While we’re glad that Dan Baird and Homemade Sin got past the issue and strove forward, we’re still pretty sore about the whole thing happening to begin with. Hopefully, we can all learn something from this and band together when something like this happens again.

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