AEG Presents, the international event giant’s venue operating and promoting arm, has announced that those wishing to attend its festivals and venues in the US will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Access will not be granted to those who have had a recent negative PCR coronavirus test result, a policy favoured by many promoters including Live Nation. The new policy is expected to be in force from 1 October. It follows a sharp rise in Delta variant coronavirus cases in the US.
The company’s festivals impacted by the new policy include Coachella Music & Arts Festival (pictured), Firefly Music Festival, Day N Vegas and The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It will also impact many of AEG’s venues, with the exception of the Staples Center in Los Angeles – which will remain open to patrons who show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test.
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano. “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realise that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”
AEG Presents COO and general counsel Shawn Trell said some US states’ regulations may override AEG’s mandate and some acts may object to it but the company is convinced it is the right move: “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. And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”
Marciano added, “Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” added Marciano. “We’ve already had to deliver bad news about JazzFest this week; 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.”
Separately, Live Nation has said it will enable artists to choose whether event attendees are required to show proof of vaccination or negative test at the shows they headline.