We’ve recently been made aware of an attempted email phishing scam to jazz musicians in the United States claiming to be from Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The emails claim to be an invitation from Ian George (Director of Festivals) to perform at the Festival, conditional on the artists paying for visa costs. It includes information cut and pasted from the Festival website and offers a generous fee for multiple performances plus flights, accommodation and other benefits. It seems these emails are primarily being sent to databases of musicians in the USA.
The emails are sent from various Gmail addresses and include an American phone number. All genuine festival offer emails are sent from cheltenhamfestivals.com email addresses, and our offices are based in the UK.
US citizens do not require visas to perform in the UK, but may require work permits depending on the circumstances. However, these do not cost anywhere near the amounts that are being asked for. Please visit the government website for official advice https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y
If you have received an email fitting this description, do not enter into correspondence and please do not make any payments. We’re sorry to say there is no booking for you from the Festival. On 25th January we completed our programming for the 2019 Festival so any offers received after this date are certainly fraudulent. If you are still unsure whether an offer from the Festival is genuine, please contact us.
Sadly the Police are unable to take action because no criminal act has been committed until money is exchanged. Please spread the word to other musicians who have received the same email.