Add AEG to the growing list of companies that are requiring attendees at their venues to be vaccinated.
The second largest concert promoter in the country behind Live Nation, AEG announced today that beginning no later than October 1, attendees at its venues, festivals and theaters will be required to show proof of vaccination for entry.
And unlike many of these policies we’ve seen implemented, AEG will not allow those who are unvaccinated the option to present a negative COVID test instead.
AEG owns or operates festivals such as Coachella and its sister country festival Stagecoach, Born & Raised Music Festival in Oklahoma, and Buckeye Country Superfest in Ohio. They also operate a number of venues and theaters across the country.
AEG’s policy goes further than competitor Live Nation’s recent announcement that they would allow artists to decide whether or not shows will require proof of either vaccination or a negative COVID test.
In a statement, AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano said:
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status.
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 realize 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.”
The new policy goes into effect October 1 to allow future ticketholders the opportunity to get fully vaccinated, but until then venues will require either proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours prior to a show.
The press release also notes that the policy will be limited “only as required by law” in states that have passed laws banning such requirements.
Absolutely massive – AEG Presents announces vax-only (no neg test substitutions) policy implemented by October 1 for all patrons and staff. Until then, vax or neg test required. Applicable in all states where legal. Immediately industry-leading standard. https://t.co/UI9B4IOEoSpic.twitter.com/MFQxGZUVdB
The announcement also comes on the heels of several locally-owned venues in Nashville announcing that they will be implementing a vaccine or negative test requirement for entry to shows, and artists like Jason Isbell cancelling a show in Houston after the venue was unable (or unwilling, depending on who you ask) to implement the requirements for his scheduled concert, and moving another to Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.
We’ve also seen cancellations start to pop up again, with Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach being pushed back to 2022 after the festival was denied a permit from the city due to the recent surge in COVID cases.
At this point, it seems clear that artists and venues really feel like they don’t have a choice: Either implement these requirements, or risk another shutdown and even more cancellations that could potentially put them out of business.
So I don’t think we’ve seen the end of these vaccination requirements just yet – whether we like them or not.