Jason Isbell Requiring Vaccination Or Negative COVID Test At All Shows: “If The Venue Won’t Allow That, We Won’t Play”

Jason Isbell et al. sitting on a couch with a guitar

Planning on catching a show from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit this fall? Better have your vaccination card ready – or be prepared to show a negative COVID test.

Jason has announced that all of his shows will now require either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test before fans will be allowed to enter the venue.

The requirements were already in place for his show at Cain’s Ballroom in Oklahoma on August 12, but Jason is now extending that policy to all shows as he gears up for a loaded fall schedule that includes an 8-night run at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The policy will apply to both indoor and outdoor shows, and according to Jason, if the venue will not allow them to require a vaccine or negative test, they simply won’t play.

Jason discussed the policy on MSNBC this morning, saying that venues and staff understand the risk of the current COVID surge, which could put venues out of business if they’re forced to shut down again.

“I think the problem is they’re just getting so much pushback from some of the governors of certain states who want to kowtow to their political base and try to make people think that their freedom is being encroached upon.

And I’m all for freedom, but I think if you’re dead you don’t have any freedoms at all so it’s probably important to stay alive before you start questioning your liberty.

It’s life and then it’s liberty, and then it’s the pursuit of happiness, and those are in order of priority.”

Jason’s announcement also comes on the heels of Live Nation, the largest venue operator and promoter in the country, announcing that they’ll be allowing artists to require vaccination or a negative COVID test for staff and attendees if they choose to.

And Garth Brooks, who performed at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City this weekend, is encouraging fans to mask up at his shows while also suggesting that it may be necessary to once again put a pause on his current stadium tour.

With the current surge in COVID cases and governments around the country beginning to re-impose mask mandates and other restrictions, it still remains to be seen what this fall concert season will look like.

But artists like Jason Isbell are clearly hoping that by imposing these restrictions now, we can avoid further cancellations and shutdowns later.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock