Live Nation will, from 4 October, require all artists, crew and fans to produce proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test to gain entry to its US venues and festivals.
The company’s CEO, Michael Rapino, had previously told Live Nation staff that it would be the artist’s choice as to whether they require concertgoers and venue staff to be vaccinated. However, in a statement released late on Friday (Saturday morning UK time), Rapino said artists would also be included in mandatory Covid-status certification at Live Nation-owned venues and festivals in the United States.
“Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows, and as of 4 October we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the US,” says Rapino.
The announcement brings Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, into line with its global rival AEG Presents, which announced earlier in the day that it would require all attendees to its venues to be vaccinated (or show a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours) from 1 October, where permitted by law. (Some states have passed legal restrictions on so-called ‘vaccine passports’ certifying consumers’ vaccination status.)
“We will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals”
Both Live Nation and AEG had already confirmed that all full-time staff at their US offices would need to be vaccinated before returning to work.
While Live Nation will only be able to enforce Covid-status certification at their own venues and events, a spokesperson says the company “has also developed best practices for artists to request these policies at third-party venues” owned or managed by other venue operators.
Similarly, AEG Presents’ vaccine mandate will only apply to its “owned and operated clubs, theatres and festivals”, though the company says it hopes artists, where they have the choice, will follow the promoters’ lead on certification.
“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,” says Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel of AEG Presents. “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.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.