Border guards prevent Ian Foster from playing St-Pierre gig
Newfoundland musician says the French venue did not file the papers he needed to play
Newfoundland musician Ian Foster had to scrap plans for a St-Pierre-Miquelon show over the weekend after he and his partner were stopped and detained by French border guards.
"In terms of us being detained it was just us sitting in a chair for four hours and them filling out some paper work asking us the same questions over and over again," Foster told CBC.
"It was more boring than anything else."
Close but international customs still apply
During the last weekend of August, Foster and with his musical partner Nancy Hynes were slated to play a gig at a venue on the French island colony, which sits about 20 kilometres from Newfoundland's Burin peninsula.
However, Foster said that because the owner of the venue did not file the paperwork that was needed, he and Hynes did not have permission to stay and work in the country.
Foster said on the small islands of about 6,000 people, the border guards made it clear that they could not play.
"They said 'we will check out the venue to see if you are playing, [and if you are] we will take you off the stage,'" recalled Foster, who said at one point he tried to make light of the situation.
"I actually asked if I could take out my guitar and play, just in the hopes that music would win [the border guards] over, but they told me no."
French border guards altered papers
"To be totally fair the border guards were super nice, they were following the rule of law, but they were nice about it," Foster said, indicating that they also cut Foster and Hynes somewhat of a break.
"[The border guards] decided to be lenient on us,' Foster said, adding that the border guards somewhat altered the deportation papers so as to not throw them out into the dark of the French night.
They said "what we will do is say [your deportation] is from 12 o'clock tonight, which meant it was from 12 o'clock Friday [that we] had to leave," said Foster.
However, Foster said that because there was no boat at twelve o'clock Friday they were permitted to stay until the next day when a ferry was available.
"There was a whole system for how [the border guards] could push it that way," he said.
'It would be nice to see my new border guard friends again. I mean, we did spend four hours with each other."- Ian Foster
No plans yet to reschedule
Foster said that while he and Hynes did not receive the wage they would have for playing the show, the venue did cover what the trip cost the two.
As for returning to St-Pierre, Foster said he is going to let dust from this "weird little paperwork snafu" settle first, but plans to return some day.
"It would be nice to see my new border guards friends again," Foster joked.
"I mean, we did spend four hours with each other."