Live Nation quickly and strongly denied a tweet implying that its contracts with artists included a gag order banning disclosure of positive COVID tests within touring groups. The tweet, which was shared as a screenshot of a text message thread by musician Courtney Jaye, depicted a claim that a musician wasn’t allowed to share that eight members of its touring crew had tested positive for COVID-19 due to a contractual ban from Live Nation.
Live Nation’s official account replied to Jaye’s tweet, and CEO Michael Rapino replied directly to a response tweet that tagged him in the same thread.
“There is absolutely no covid gag order in our contracts,” the live entertainment giant wrote. “We care about our employees, crew, fans & artists and will continue to meet requirements of local health officials as we put on events.”
receiving messages like this from friends makes me incredibly concerned for all musicians and crew members on the road right now. please stay safe everyone. also – wtf @LiveNation? pic.twitter.com/fHLPTnNJm3
— Courtney Jaye (@TropicaliJaye) August 1, 2021
The screenshots of the text, which Jaye’s tweet implies came from someone she knew personally, say that eight of 11 members of one touring crew had tested positive for COVID, specifically the more contagious “delta” variant, but the touring giant’s policy kept them from commenting publically on the matter. “This gag order issued by Live Nation is going to get a lot of people six. Or worse,” it closed.
Jaye, who had tagged Live Nation in the initial thread (specifically writing “wtf @LiveNation?” at the close of it), quote tweeted Live Nation’s response, seeming to put the matter to bed.
Below Jaye’s initial tweet, another twitter user looped in LN President/CEO Michael Rapino, advising him that he “might wanna get WAY ahead of this…”, to which he replied “we just did. WE have never had gag orders on Covid.”
The thread may have turned out to be bogus, but the concerns illustrated are real – the increasing case numbers related to COVID and the stall in the vaccination push in the United States are certainly causing some concern among live entertainment professionals about the return to live entertainment this summer. Broadway recently announced that all audience members above the age of 12 would have to show proof of vaccination through at least October, while some shows – including the Foo Fighters reopening gig at The Forum in Los Angeles, have been postponed due to covid cases within band organizations.
Live Nation itself has said it wouldn’t require any proof of vaccination status itself for event access, but would comply with any such requirements put in place by event organizers using Ticketmaster or local authorities as needed.