A who’s who of live entertainment companies sent a letter to President Biden earlier this week offering the “full support and resources of the live event industry” in the nationwide push to vaccinate Americans and put an end to the COVID pandemic. Live Nation, AEG, Oak View Group, The Broadway League and the International Association of Venue Managers are among the groups pledging their support, which they propose could involve the use of otherwise shuttered venues as vaccination sites and the employment of venue staff to help manage them.
The groups argue that venue management is built upon the ability to get patrons in and out quickly and efficiently in large numbers – a skill set that fits perfectly with the needs of a mass vaccination program such as the one unfolding now across the globe.
“Live events is one of the best prepared, best equipped, most experienced industries in America to manage and control large crowds in a rapid, organized fashion,” the letter reads, in part. “Moving people in, out, and around a public gathering space swiftly and safely is the foundation of our industry… There are several thousand companies in the live event industry which own the equipment and infrastructure required to build vaccination sites.”
The expertise on offer, coupled with the fact that most live event companies and staff have been forced to either operate at dramatically reduced capacity or shut off altogether by restrictions on mass gatherings, make it an intriguing but ultimately logical thought process.
“We have been closed for nearly one full year to protect public health. Please let us now go to work to protect public health,” it continues. “We share your goal to get America back to work, school and in gathering places of all kinds quickly and safely. We are ready to meet to discuss how we can help as soon as you and your staff are able.”
The letter was addressed to President Biden at the White House in Washington D.C., dated just six days after his inauguration last week. Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran, Acting CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease Services Dividion Director Nancy Messonnier and White House Vaccinations Bechara Choucair were copied on the letter.
The full letter is available at this link (pdf)