Crossing any international border can be tricky. This post is designed to help you get to our convention safely, and without any unnecessary stress or delays.

Always remember that the ISB is a 501(c)3 organization. This means we are a non-for profit, charitable, educational organization designed to foster international connections through our conventions, competitions, and member benefits (which include our magazine, access to our website, and access to our online data basses of research, member contact information, and videos and documents from past conventions and publications).

When you cross the border remember these important facts about who we are and why you are coming to join us in the United States:

  1. The ISB Convention is not a “music festival“.  The ISB Convention is an educational conference at a university. This is our biennial conference for educators and students to share research and professional discoveries about the double bass, its history, methods of teaching, and modes of engagement.
  2. We do not sell tickets to the public. Convention registration is the only way for a bassist to come to the convention, membership is required, and we do not charge anything for any non-bassist guests and family members to join an ISB member. 
  3. Traveling to the United States on a B1/B2 visa or Visa Waiver Program from an eligible country means that you must not be appearing at additional other events in the U.S. – events that might charge admission or pay you a fee during your time in the U.S..
  4. No ISB member receives an artist/appearance fee when presenting at the convention. So be clear that you are not getting paid to be here, and neither are the rest of us! You are not  “working” in the USA. You are volunteering as an educator, presenting or participating at an educational conference at a university. 
  5. It is normal that we are each excited about the presentations we give at the convention, but you may want to avoid describing yourself with confusing words like “musician” or “artist“, or “performer“, and instead, describe yourself as an educator, here to connect with fellow students and teachers of the double bass.
  6. Here are some helpful links to copy onto your phone, laptop, or print out before you travel:
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Society_of_Bassists
  • http://www.isbworldoffice.com/default.asp
  • http://www.isbworldoffice.com/about-us.asp
  • http://isbconnect.org/
  • http://isbconnect.org/who-we-are/#.WNgnWBIrJPM
  • https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations

Please know that all of this is not some kind of fancy language designed to pull a fast one on our customs agents. This is simply the truth about who we are and what we do.

Because, you know what? This is the real reason why we are gathering together – to attend to our501(c)3 mission: to educate, inspire, and connect. (Notice these central organizing principles in our ISB convention logos and on our websites.) This is why we do what we do.

We don’t want anyone to have any issues getting to Ithaca June 5 – 10, 2017 for our convention, so please assure the people you are traveling with also all understand these distinctions, and please travel safely. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2017 ISB Convention!

Nicholas Walker
ISB 2017 Convention Chair

Nicholas is the President of the ISB, and is an Associate Professor of Music at Ithaca College.