Music venues across the country preaching to the choir in struggle to enforce vaccination guidelines


Many music venues are requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests while the coronavirus still spreads.

Lily Howard

With the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine, many people are starting to feel safe returning to public gatherings and hoping to get back to the normalcy of the pre-pandemic world. However, many music venues are requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests while the coronavirus still spreads.

According to the Washington Post, 70 percent of adults throughout the country have received the vaccine. However, with many others refusing to get vaccinated and the delta variant spreading rapidly, music venues are choosing to proceed with caution.

Starting Oct. 4, the global music corporation Live Nation Entertainment will require its guests, staff, and performing artists to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of an event.

Live Nation’s rival AEG Presents will be implementing similar policies starting Oct. 1. Shawn Trell, COO and General Counsel of the company, believes that these new rules could encourage others to get vaccinated.

“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan,” Trell said in a public statement. “but we know that using our platform to take a strong position on vaccinations can make an impact. The message we want to send is simple and clear: the only way to be as safe as possible is to require everyone to be vaccinated.”

Some venues, such as Radio City Music Hall, will not allow unvaccinated guests to attend events but will make an exception for those who haven’t received their second shot. Sophomore Justin Longo of Middletown doesn’t believe this is a good idea.

“I feel like people who only have one shot of Pfizer or Moderna shouldn’t be allowed to [attend concerts],” he said. “If they’ve been tested prior and they can have a proof of negative covid test they should be allowed in, but solely on one shot they shouldn’t.”

While companies attempt to maintain safety to the best of their ability, in several states COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been banned. This means businesses can’t refuse clients or fire employees for not receiving the vaccine. For music venues, fewer protocols can be issued at events which could drive away potential attendees.

“I feel like as long as masks and some sort of COVID testing is done prior to the event I would feel comfortable going,” Longo said. “But I feel like in states like Florida where mandates aren’t allowed it’s just not safe to be holding large concerts packed with people.”

While there may be complications with issuing protocols, many companies still hope that adding some restrictions will encourage more people to get vaccinated. CEO of AEG Presents Jay Marciano expresses how these approaches can make a positive difference.

“Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” Marciano said. “I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”