Texas and Florida concerts find loophole in vaccine mandate


Tom de george, owner of Crowbar in Tampa, Florida, is one of the venue owners offering artists and promoters the choice of requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for attendees. DeGeorge, who sought legal advice alongside other members of the National Independent Venue Association to unwrap the executive order, said Billboard it was their right to request a negative test and clients could provide proof of vaccination instead. A representative of Governor Ron DeSantis‘the office confirmed the legality of the loophole Billboard.

The same loophole was approved in Texas, according to Texan promoter and owner of Resound Presents Graham williams, who qualifies the loophole as “just the wrong way round”. Indeed, big festivals like Live Nation’s Austin City Limits music festival, which is slated for October, have already adopted the escape language for their security policies.

“The attorneys and the Texas Music Office in the governor’s office and all these other people have been discussing this, and as far as I know there’s sort of a general agreement that it’s doable as long as there is has an option, ”Williams says. “I have a feeling that as long as you offer the option, you are not just asking for vaccinations.” However, by placing this additional hurdle for unvaccinated participants, the promoters provide “another positive reason to get vaccinated,” he adds.

Crowbar’s DeGeorge says Florida sites and developers have notified the governor’s office of the ban, explaining that requiring proof of vaccination “is the direction the industry is going, and if we can’t do these things, there’s a good chance we’ll lose a lot of our performers in the fall and winter.”

These companies react to the policies implemented by the artists themselves; in August, several touring musicians began publicly calling for vaccination requirements at their 2021 shows. Harry Styles announced his Love On Tour dates would require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test upon his return to the stage in September. Dead & Company’s 2021 tour requires fans to provide the same information, and only fully vaccinated participants will be allowed in their general admission pit sections. And in late August, indie rock band Spoon moved their September show to Des Moines, Iowa, on I-80 in Omaha, Nebraska, because Iowa bans companies from requiring proof of vaccination.

Jason Isbell also requested the same requirements and canceled three performances for not agreeing to the terms, including performances at the Brandon Amphitheater in Mississippi, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on the Tennessee-Virginia border, and a show with Lucinda. Williams at Cynthia Woods. Mitchell Pavilion in Texas.

“From everything I have heard so far, all the responses I have received from the people at the company have been positive because they understand that we could go back to not working at all,” Isbell said. MSNBC August 9. “A lot of these little sites won’t be able to reopen if they experience another round of shutdowns.”

The two main promoters of concerts in the United States, AEG and Living country, also announced vaccine requirements and proof of vaccine or proof of a negative COVID test, respectively, to attend concerts that are fully run by the corporations. Both companies stressed that their policies will be in place where the law allows, but according to Ballot, 20 states across the country have implemented some form of business ban requiring proof of vaccination (masks may be required by businesses in Florida and Texas). In March, more than 30 concert halls in Austin came together to establish their own public health code of conduct and next safety program Governor Greg Abbottthe decision to lift the mask mandate for all of Texas.

Tech companies have made it possible for sites to quietly verify customer health information. Crowbar has implemented the use of contactless access apps, including Clear, where the venue can set its parameters to enter a show (for example, a full vaccination or recent negative test result) and, Without disclosing any medical information, the app can indicate whether or not the person qualifies for entry.

“We were able to find ways around it to make sure we were in line with what a lot of other states could do,” says DeGeorge. “I want to be able to do whatever is in the law to make our customers happy and keep them as safe as possible.”


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