AEG Presents, one of the world’s largest concert hosts, has come out with a new policy on COVID-19 vaccination across its theaters, festivals, and entertainment venues. In a press release from today, the company announced its attendees must provide “proof of vaccination for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theaters, and festivals.”
The policy, while “limited only as required by law,” will become a nationwide policy in the U.S. starting Oct. 1. The nearly two-month delay allows time for unvaccinated ticketholders and staff to prepare for the mandate. Until then, AEG Presents venues will start introducing a policy where guests must either show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test in a 72 hour time period, to enter.
AEG Presents CEO and Chairman Jay Marciano said the decision came down to the company deciding “it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status” as “a market leader” in the entertainment industry.
“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,” Marciano said in the press release.
“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.”
While AEG Presents’ policy is intended for venues and events across the nation, the company’s COO and General Counsel, Shawn Trell, acknowledged that the mandate may not be feasible in states with far less vaccination-friendly policies.
“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan, but we know that using our platform to take a strong position on vaccinations can make an impact. 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.”
AEG Presents is connected with some of the biggest music and theater ventures in the nation, including Forest Hills Stadium and Brooklyn Steel in New York City, Philadelphia’s Franklin Music Hall, Coachella, and the Firefly Music Festival. The company has also helped promote The Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, and Katy Perry on tour.
AEG’s vaccination policy is sure to push indie and mainstream entertainment venues alike toward stauncher vaccination policies. COVID-19 cases remain on the rise across the United States amid the Delta variant’s surge, with the New York Times reporting Texas hospitals face over 10,000 admitted coronavirus patients this week alone. Theoretically, stricter vaccination policies at concerts, theaters, and festivals could help prevent superspreader events from arising.