It is with deep regret that we have to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control, Mark Ferrell will not be bringing us his 'Getting What You're Worth' seminar at the Conference next week. The Association found out over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend after our Secretary, Alan Marshall, was stuck in the car park of Heathrow Airport for half a day waiting for the couple. Mark and his wife Rebecca were refused entry to the UK by Border Control on a technicality. We are still shocked and saddened to hear this news and we are working closely with our colleagues and contacts within the industry to provide other content for the Conference.
The couple went through all the proper channels before they set off from America to make sure that they were eligible to come to the UK to be a part of the Conference, however, they were confronted with something that was outside of our and their control. They followed all of the instructions and guidance before they entered the UK as they had successfully complied with all of the regulations in two previous visits to the UK with a work permit.
Mark contacted the Association and said: "We have some very bad news to report. We are in England, but we have been refused entry on a technicality. To be honest, this is so horrific we cannot even make sense of it right now, as we had no problems the first two years we did our workshops in England and they issued our work visa as we passed through immigration inspection. I guess it depends on whom you are standing in front of at the moment," said Mark.
The Border Control official questioned them both, held them in custody for ten hours and decided to refuse them entry. All efforts and appeals (including those on behalf of the Association) were dismissed or ignored. The insulting and infuriating part of this process was a comment from another Border Control official as they were about to head back to Los Angeles Airport: "Why didn't you just say you were coming here on holiday?"
If what they'd gone through hadn't been stressful and emotional enough, Mark and Rebecca felt insulted again and replied that they're not the type of people who would do that and that they had followed the instructions and guidance on entering the UK with a work permit. Look where being truthful has got them!
Mark and Rebecca are both incredibly upset, drained of energy and emotional. They both wanted to stress how bad they feel at the moment: "Please accept our most humble and heartfelt apologies for having to cancel our seminar. We were so very much looking forward to meeting the team from the NADJ who were organising the Conference and we were looking forward to meeting more Professional DJs to pass on the contents of the Getting What You're Worth seminar. We do hope that we will have that opportunity another time," said Mark.
Paul Arnett, NADJ Chairman, is working with the rest of the team to source new content and seminars: "We realise people have made plans in order to be with us next weekend and we are going to ensure that there's worthwhile content for you to see. We also realise that some people may be out of pocket and to this end, anyone who has paid to reserve a place will be refunded their money. They will also be allowed free entry to the Conference as a gesture of goodwill, where there will be DJ related content that may help their business or skills."
Paul added: "We hope you will understand that this situation is outside of our control and that all efforts are being made to make the Conference a success. The volunteers at the NADJ, Mark and Rebecca are all, as you can imagine, in a state of shock and disbelief."
We are working hard to make sure that the Conference goes ahead as we are not willing to let the actions of Border Control ruin our event. So, we will release more details on the new content for the Conference in the next couple of days. We'd advise all members to keep checking the www.nadj.org.uk website, our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for updates.
We are sorry for all the DJs who were looking forward to the 'Getting What You Are Worth' seminar and we hope that you will join us on the 27th April 2014 at Dukes Meadows for what will still be a great opportunity for education, networking and socialising with fellow Professional DJs.