Visa service addresses new touring landscape
Friday, 7 May 2021
travelOH Visas is designed to meet the specific needs of touring professionals
UK - Only Helix, known for its work with artists like Years & Years, Bat For Lashes, Amy Macdonald and Bombay Bicycle Club, has launched a new travel service that’s designed to meet the specific needs of touring professionals. OH Visas is rooted in an understanding of how the entertainment industry works, and has been developed to take the travel stress out of touring.
Only Helix’s Steven Down and Tom Nicol are the masterminds behind the service, which will be headed up by travel industry specialist, Ben Young.
“OH Visas was borne from our combined experiences, frustrations and successes with travel over the years,” explains Down. “Brexit and Covid-19 has obviously also shifted things quite dramatically and we wanted to find an easier process for ourselves and our clients.”
Nicol elaborates: “We realised this solution was something that others would probably benefit from too, so we’ve decided to make it a bigger part of our agency offering. We’ve got some great expertise in Ben, and we’re excited about getting it out there.”
As the shifting political landscape has made touring more complex than ever before, travel schedules that previously required no or minimal visas, may now need multiple visas and additional paperwork to ensure a smooth passage from one country to the next.
The new service handles the entire visa process from start to finish - covering applications, appointments and embassy visits. Learning from previous experiences (and challenges) of tour and production travel, OH Visas has streamlined the end-to-end process for clients down to one universal form. As part of this, passport and ATA carnet advice and support will also be included.
Ben has experience facilitating visas for the UK music industry from the ground up. He’s worked with a multitude of industry professionals, sharing his knowledge and adopting his own pragmatic approach to deliver clients visa needs. He’s also Level 1 OISC certified, which enables him to legally give immigration advice.
“Tom, Steve and I have great cohesion,” explains Young. “The extended layoff from touring due to the pandemic has allowed us to draw upon our experiences and really think about how the music industry conducts itself to enable travel for its artists.
“I’m pretty sure any touring personnel could search their email or WhatsApp and bring up a whole load of sensitive personal information from previous tours that in the wrong hands could cause potential harm. OH Visas, we feel, addresses these security issues by providing safe, practical and efficient means to assist with applications for travel - time and time again.”
Through its production and artist management services, Only Helix works with an impressive roster of artists - some of whom have already benefitted from the OH Visas offering.
Years & Years manager Martha Kinn said: “OH Visas understands the mechanics of a live production. There’s no one I’d trust more than OH Visas to handle all mine and my client’s needs.”
Louis Tomlinson’s tour manager, Mark Brightman, comments: “Ben’s knowledge and overall visa experience is very impressive. He was cool, calm and collected throughout the whole process.”

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