Uniquely, our tour planning team are classically trained musicians and take pride in matching your ensemble to the perfect venue.
Working alongside our concert representatives, our eyes and ears in your destination, we only arrange concerts in tried and tested venues which we have visited. Our extensive concert venue database holds a wide range of information about our venues ranging from the acoustics, access, where to change, right down to where the closest plug socket is for your vibraphone!
We also keep detailed records of organ specifications so that there are no surprises for your accompanist on the day!
With the skilled handling of all the technical and logistical details in hand, this leaves you and your musicians to focus on what really matters, your performance!
It’s important to double-check whether any of your group members require a visa to travel. UK passport holders can visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to check the latest entry requirements for your destination. For passport holders of other countries, please visit https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/ to check the latest entry requirements.
Some of our destinations – including Russia, India and China – require UK passport holders to obtain a visa or e-visa before travel. Whilst we are unable to apply for visas on your behalf, we do provide a visa support service to ensure you have the paperwork required for your application.
Following the UK’s departure from the EU, we have clarified that musical instruments travelling into and out of the EU with their owners do not need to be declared at customs. However, we do advise that you carry confirmation of ownership in some form and copies of your insurance documentation. Instruments sent out separately by truck may require additional documentation (such as an ATA carnet). Please speak to your Tour Manager for more information.
We know how important your instruments are, and why getting them safely from point A to point B is essential to the success of your tour. Many of our Tour Managers have a background in professional orchestral management, so are fully aware of the care required and complexities involved.
As a division of Specialised Travel, the leading provider of travel services to the professional performing arts world, we have unrivalled expertise in handling the requirements of instrumentalists on the road. For tours by air, our in-house flights team work directly with the airlines every day and can advise on their policies early on in the planning stage. Whether it be for small & medium sized instruments in the cabin, or larger instruments in the hold, you can speak to your Tour Manager about what’s best for your group.
Alternatively, for bulkier instruments, you may wish to consider hiring these locally. Our local concert representatives can arrange top-quality instrument hire for your group, delivered to your hotel or venue. As the availability of instruments can be limited, we advise you speak to your Tour Manager about instrument hire as soon as possible.
For tours by road, depending on the amount of equipment you plan to bring, you can choose between having a trailer or an instrument van. We only work with a handpicked selection of coach providers who have experience working with musical groups. For larger orchestras, arranging an instrument van may be the best solution. Customs regulations may require the van to carry additional documentation (such as an ATA Carnet) and routes need to be checked.
For the more budget-conscious, a trailer can be arranged for your coach to tow. We suggest that luggage is placed in the trailer and instruments placed under the coach where possible to provide better protection.
Our local concert representatives work with their contacts such as tourist boards, local community & charity organisations and the venues themselves to publicise your concerts on your behalf. We use a combination of online publicity as well as the creation of vibrant flyers and posters to ensure your concerts are well attended.
The content and quality of the background materials and recordings that we send out on behalf of groups are very influential in securing the best possible performance opportunities. Presentation is important, as potential hosts and promoters tend to assume that the quality of promotional material reflects the quality of the group.
We can’t sell you unless you sell yourself first!
In preparing the materials needed, please consider the following suggestions which have proved effective in the past.
We ask that you send us a good quality recording of 20 minutes of contrasting repertoire, similar to the programme you will give on tour. The simpliest way to do this is by sending us a YouTube/SoundCloud link or similar. Alternatively we can also accept recordings via online file transfer providers such as WeTransfer.
Please let us know your proposed repertoire as soon as possible. This is usually the first information that venues and promoters want. We need to know titles, durations, whether the pieces are accompanied or a cappella, and the full names and dates of the composers, with brief biographies if they are not mainstream composers. For performing rights reasons, the names of the publishers may also be required so it’s worth keeping a note of this information too.
Please put together a short biography for your group. Here are some suggestions as to what to include:
• How long has your group been together?
• What repertoire do you perform and where?
• When does the group rehearse and how often?
• What do most of your members do when not performing together?
• Do you have social events?
• Where is your group from? What is your area best known for? Is there a tradition of music?
• What interesting performances have you done? Any well-known venues?
• Have you toured before? If so, where & when?
•What are you hoping to get out of the tour and what are your priorities?
Director’s (and Accompanist’s) Biography
Describe their education in terms that people in the countries you are visiting will understand. Bear in mind that they may not realise the significance of some degree terminology and the stature of some of the festivals, groups or concert venues your director and accompanist may have been involved with, so please explain what they are.
Good photos are key to publicising your group. We ideally need a selection of high resolution photos for use in print & online. We can accept these in the usual file formats such as .jpeg/.tif/.png etc. and they should ideally be greater than 500 KB in size. If possible, please include formal and informal group shots, plus images of the conductor and soloist if appropriate. Unusual or distinctive pictures stand a much better chance of being published or used in publicity so please do include these if you have any!
If possible, please include a press release about your tour and the group together with past reviews of concerts or articles written about you. Include the name of the newspaper or magazine in which the article appears.
For more information, please contact your Tour Manager who will be happy to help.
ACFEA’s policy is for all of our tours to be accompanied by an experienced courier who acts as tour manager for your group. Their job is to assist with the smooth running of all operational aspects of the tour, ensuring that you and your staff’s time can be spent on musical and pastoral matters – and of course, enjoying the trip!
We select couriers with facilities for language and leadership. They will be fully briefed before departure and will hold a wide range of back-up contact information. During the tour they are encouraged to constantly call ahead to smooth the path for the group on all aspects of its travels. They will assist with hotel check-ins, meals, reminding suppliers of dietary and medical requirements, and will liaise with the responsible people for all your concert venues. During the tour they are your first point of contact should you have any queries about any aspect of your arrangements, including the unlikely events of either a complaint or an emergency.
Although our couriers will be familiar with most of the areas you are to visit, they cannot be expected to lead guided tours unless they hold the requisite licenses. Also, our couriers cannot be held responsible for matters relating to discipline within the group. We would encourage you to share any “house rules” with them in advance so they can help you, your staff and chaperones (if applicable) in such matters.
We believe strongly that a good courier and a good working relationship between courier and tour leader can add immensely to the success of a tour. We hope you will happily endorse that view at the conclusion of your trip!
ACFEA Tour Consultants’ operations in 2020 and 2021 have of course been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. A number have re-booked for 2022 and 2023 and we are now receiving new enquiries. Our unique network of exclusive representatives who live in key destination countries keep us continuously updated on the local openings of concert venues, churches etc and the current protocols surrounding performances in their region. We are pleased to report that we very successfully operated our first socially distanced concert for a Youth Orchestra – in Innsbruck – in October 2020. Our UK team are on flexible furlough and are working from home. We ask for your patience in trying to reach us – an email may elicit a faster response.
Chairman & CEO, ACFEA Europe
7 June 2021
Following the UK’s departure from the EU, we expect there to be very little change to your touring experience with ACFEA. We’re ensuring that all of our clients are aware of the new requirements for UK passport holders and allowing for extra time on itineraries for additional checks at the border. For further guidance on the new requirements, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein
Our Chairman, Richard Savage, was instrumental in setting up a Zoom meeting with the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden on 25 May to give him “real world” input from “creatives” who regularly travel to the EU to perform. It was clear that the Secretary of State is fully aware of the complex logistics involved in the touring of Orchestras & Choirs to the EU.
We have clarified that musical instruments travelling into and out of the EU with their owners do not need to be declared at customs. Instruments sent out separately by truck may require additional documentation (such as an ATA carnet). Your Tour Manager will be able to provide further information.
We know that many of our clients are having to operate in challenging circumstances also. I’m sure we are all looking forward to the return of regular live music-making and indeed touring; we are ready to start discussing ideas and plans whenever you are!
Chairman & CEO, ACFEA Europe
7 June 2021
This Policy sets out how ACFEA uses and protects any personal data that you provide to ACFEA (including personal data provided through the website www.acfea.co.uk (“Website”)). We are committed to protecting your personal data and this Policy and tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.
ACFEA provides services to individuals in connection with booking travel arrangements and services, and through providing services to individuals it may collect and process personal data about individuals (“Services”). In addition to this, the Website also collects certain personal data from users, in accordance with this Policy.
ACFEA and its affiliated Group companies or brands (“STL Group”) are firmly committed to respecting and protecting the privacy of all personal data received or collected, in strict adherence to Data Protection Legislation (defined below) and best business practice. The STL Group has established this Policy so that you can understand the care with which we intend to treat your personal data.
How to contact us
We have a data privacy manager who is responsible (together with our Data Protection Committee) for overseeing questions in relation to this Policy. If you have any questions about this Policy, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the data privacy manager using the details set out below. If you have any questions regarding your personal data and how we may use it, including any queries relating to this Policy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to our “Data Privacy Manager” at the head office address noted above.
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.
ACFEA’s data protection and privacy measures are governed by the (i) the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (“GDPR”) and any national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the UK and then (ii) any successor legislation to the GDPR or the Data Protection Act 1998 (“Data Protection Legislation“).
For the purpose of Data Protection Legislation where personal data is provided directly to ACFEA through use of the Website, email, meeting with you or other means where ACFEA is determining the way in which that personal data is processed, then ACFEA will be a data controller of such information.
Personal data and Basis for Collection
Personal data means any data or information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
Where ACFEA is acting as a data controller, ACFEA may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which ACFEA has grouped together as follows:
If you fail to provide personal data
Where ACFEA needs to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract ACFEA has with you (or our client whom ACFEA acts for) and you fail to provide that data when requested, ACFEA may not be able to perform the contract it has or is trying to enter. In this case, ACFEA may have to cancel the Services but it will notify you (or where appropriate, its client) if this is the case at the time.
How is your personal data collected?
ACFEA uses different methods to collect personal data from and about you including through:
How ACFEA uses your personal data
ACFEA will only use your personal data when the law allows us to, ie, if we have a legal basis for doing so, as outlined in this Policy or as notified to you at the time we collect your personal data, and for the purposes for which it was collected for, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do this. Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, where this is required or permitted by law.
Where we act as the data controller for client contact information, we have set out below in the table a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are, where appropriate.
Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact ACFEA if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.
Type of data
Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest
To register you as a new client and verify your identity (where required) and to provide you with travel arrangements and our Services
(d) Special category data
Performance of a contract with you
Consent (for use of special categories of data)
To manage Our relationship with you which will include:
Performance of a contract with you
Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
Necessary for Our legitimate interests (to keep Our records updated and to study how customers use Our services)
To process and deliver the Services including:
(a) Manage accounts, payments, fees and charges
(b) contacting you and corresponding about your travel arrangements and our Services
Performance of a contract
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to recover debts due to us)
To respond to queries and enquiries
To undertake marketing to you
Consent, unless Our legitimate interests apply and this does not adversely affect your rights as a data subject
To administer and protect Our business and this Website (including troubleshooting data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)
Necessary for Our legitimate interests (for running Our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security and to prevent fraud)
Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
How your personal data may be shared
Where we act as the data controller, personal data processed by ACFEA may be shared as follows:
Third party travel service providers
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
Many of Our external third parties are based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) so their processing of your personal data will involve a transfer of data outside the EEA.
Whenever We transfer your personal data to countries outside of the EEA to other people or companies it will be for one of the legal bases for processing your personal data as indicated above. Where We do so, We will take all steps to ensure that any country to which the personal data has been transferred has suitable protection mechanisms in place to protect personal data, including (if applicable) use of EU Model Clauses in any contract with that third party for steps to be taken to keep personal data secure.
We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising.
Promotional offers from Us
We may use your Identity, Contact, Technical, Usage and Profile Data to form a view on what We think you may want or need, or what may be of interest to you. This is how We decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you (We call this marketing). You will only receive marketing communications from Us if you have either requested information from Us, or you have previously purchased travel arrangements from Us, and you have not opted out of receiving that marketing.
You can opt-out of receiving marketing communications from Us at any time by contacting Us via the following methods.
1. Email Us at email@example.com providing your full name, address and postcode and the email address which you would have originally used.
2 .Write to ACFEA at 3rd Floor, Craven House, 40-44 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2BS
3. Call Our office on 020 8799 8300.
4. You can also be removed from Our email database by clicking the Unsubscribe link located in the footer of all marketing email communications from Us.
5. You can update your preferences by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephoning Us on 020 8799 8300.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
Other than in relation to government / public authorities (over whom We have no control), We take appropriate steps to ensure that anyone to whom We pass your personal data for any reason agrees to keep it secure, only uses it for the purposes of providing their services and does not collect any personal data from you in the course performing their services.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where We are legally required to do so.
Personal Data Retention
We will keep your information for as long as We need it for the purpose it is being processed for. For example, where you book a holiday with Us We will keep the information related to your booking, so We can fulfil the specific travel arrangements you have made and after that, We will keep the information for a period which enables Us to handle or respond to any complaints, queries or concerns relating to the booking. The information may also be retained so that We can continue to improve your experience with Us, this will usually be no longer than 7 years after you have travelled with Us.
We will actively review the information We hold and delete it securely, or in some cases anonymise it, when there is no longer a legal, business or customer need for it to be retained.
Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. These include the right to:
To exercise any of the above rights please email your request to: email@example.com.
Where you exercise your right to erasure or where information is deleted in accordance with ACFEA’s retention policy, please note that after the deletion of your personal data, it cannot be recovered, so if you require a copy of this personal data, please request this during the period ACFEA retains the data.
Where you exercise your right to request access to the information ACFEA processes about you, you will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive.
Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
ACFEA will try to respond to all legitimate access requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
If you believe that any of your personal data which We are processing is inaccurate or incorrect please contact Us by calling Our office on 020 8799 8300, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to ACFEA, 3rd Floor, Craven House, 40-44 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2BS.
The Website is not intended for children and ACFEA will not knowingly collect any personal data from persons under the age of 18. Where, as part of the Services being provided and travel arrangements being put in place, We may collect information about children from you to perform such Services and We will treat such information securely.
If you would like to make a complaint in relation to how ACFEA may have stored, used or processed your personal data, you have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). ACFEA would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.
Remember the Risks Whenever You Use the Internet
ACFEA is committed to ensuring that your information is secure and has in place reasonable and proportionate safeguards and procedures to protect your personal data. Whilst ACFEA does its best to protect your personal data, ACFEA cannot guarantee the security of any information that you transmit to ACFEA and you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any passwords or other account information.