AEG Presents, a global leader in concerts and live events, announced today that it will be requiring proof of vaccination for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theatres, and festivals. The decision comes on the heels of the dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases as the delta variant spreads throughout the United States. AEG Presents is either an owner or partner in such iconic venues and festivals as New York's Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel, The Roxy and El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas, Firefly Music Festival, Day N Vegas, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Coachella Music & Arts Festival, among others.
The vaccination policy, limited only as required by law, will be in full effect nationwide no later than October 1, 2021. Several venues have already been following local government vaccination mandates, with others anticipated to come in the weeks leading up to October 1. The date was chosen specifically to allow time for any eligible unvaccinated ticketholders and staff to reach fully vaccinated status should they choose to do so. Leading up to October 1, AEG Presents will be implementing a policy of showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of show date where permitted.
"We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status," said Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman and CEO, AEG Presents. "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."
Added Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel, AEG Presents: "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."
The vaccination policy will be implemented as an open-ended one, with any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations.
"Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated," added Marciano. "We've already had to deliver bad news about JazzFest this week; I think everyone can agree that we don't want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening."
Several hard rock and heavy metal artists have canceled shows or whole tours as the concert industry is rethinking its approach to live shows while the delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading nationwide.
A number of venues around the country have already instituted policies requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend shows.
Earlier in the month, concert promoter Live Nation announced it will honor touring artists requests to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for attendees at concert venues.
Combining the power of the live event with a focus on true artist development, AEG Presents is a world leader in the music and entertainment industries. Operating across four continents, the company has an unparalleled commitment to artistry, creativity, and community. Its tentpole festivals and multi-day music events — which include the iconic Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival alongside British Summer Time at Hyde Park, Stagecoach, Hangout Festival, Electric Forest, and Firefly — continue to set the bar for the live music experience. AEG Presents promotes global tours for artists such as THE ROLLING STONES, Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Kenny Chesney, Paul McCartney and Katy Perry, in addition to — through its network of clubs, theatres, arenas, stadiums and renowned partner brands such as Goldenvoice, Messina Touring Group, Concerts West, The Bowery Presents, PromoWest Productions, Marshall Arts, Madison House Presents and Zero Mile Presents — creating and developing an unmatched infrastructure for artist development and audience reach.