Much like other major music festivals like Lollapalooza and Bottle Rock, a handful of popular concert venues in the Bay Area will now require proof of vaccination to attend their shows this fall, amid an increase in cases of Delta variant.
Live entertainment company AEG Presents announced Thursday morning that ticket holders and crews would need proof of vaccination at all venues it oversees. In San Francisco, these include the Warfield, the Regency Ballroom, and the Lodge and Social Hall in the Regency Center. The updated policy also affects a number of festivals including Coachella, Stagecoach, and Day Trip in Indio, Day Club and Splash House in Palm Springs, and Second Sky in Oakland. Attendees can also submit a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event, if allowed, AEG Presents said in a statement.
“We concluded that it was up to us, as market leaders, to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman-CEO of AEG Presents, in a statement. “Just a few weeks ago we were optimistic about where our business and our country were going. The delta variant, combined with hesitation in vaccinating, is pushing us back in the wrong direction. We know some people see this as a dramatic move, but it is the right one. We are also aware that there could be an initial setback, but I am confident and hope that at the end of the day we will be on the right side of history and do the best for artists, fans and live event staff. “
The new policy will go into effect no later than October 1, the company said, so people who haven’t been vaccinated can do so in time for the event they want to attend.
“Certain government regulations may override our mandate, or some artists may not want to jump into the plan right away, but we know that using our platform to take a strong stance on vaccination can have an impact,” said Shawn Trell. AEG COO and General Counsel presented. “The message we want to send is simple and clear: the only way to be as safe as possible is for everyone to be vaccinated. And we are confident that others who were not yet ready to make this full commitment will follow our example. “
Coronavirus cases have been linked to other festivals and shows. More than 1,000 coronavirus cases were linked to the Verknipt outdoor festival in the Netherlands during the summer, despite the organizers requiring an entry test, CNBC reported in July. That same month, shows by a Grateful Dead cover band in the Santa Cruz district may have sparked a similar outbreak. BottleRock headliner Stevie Nicks announced Tuesday that she will be leaving the festival and canceling five more appearances for the remainder of 2021 due to concerns about COVID-19 and her age.
Most new infections in the Bay Area are spread among unvaccinated people.
The new policy may change based on updates to “infection rates, transmission dates, variant developments, and local and state regulations,” AEG Presents said.