Live Nation Entertainment has shifted gears with its COVID-related policies, announcing that all artists and fans would have to be fully vaccinated or show a recent negative test. The policy, which supercedes a previous one where artists were allowed to choose whether to require COVID-related restrictions or not, goes into effect on October 4.
“Vaccines are going to be your ticketback to shows, and as of October 4th we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the US,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment.
The rules will be in place “where permitted by law,” which indicates the patchwork of pro-and anti-restriction policies put in place by local government in recent months.
The shift follows closely the instutition of a similar policy by fellow touring giant AEG Presents, which itself trailed Live Nation’s original policy indicating it would support artist partners’ wishes in terms of the level of restrictions.
A segment of fans will undoubtedly push back against the rules, which are clearly intended to head off the potential for a return of harsher restrictions on crowd sizes as COVID case numbers surge, particularly in communities with lower vaccination rates. The touring giant indicated that the model is “designed to encourage vaccination” and pointed at data from its recent Lollapalooza event in Chicago.
“12% of fans said Lolla was actually their reason for getting vaccinated, which is a huge number with 400K attendees throughout the weekend,” a Live Nation spokesperson told NBC.
Between Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents, the overwhelming majority of high-level tours and events in the U.S. will now require either vaccination or a negative test for entry, which may deter some fans, but will presumably make others more comfortable about attending.