New York hardcore veterans MADBALL have said that they will not perform in any venue that require audience members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The band touched upon the hot-button issue while updating fans on the status of MADBALL's previously announced August 14 concert at Irving Plaza in New York.
Earlier today, the group took to its Instagram to write: "Heads up NYC : We've been asked a bunch if Irving is still happening... the answer is YES! That said, in light of the new rules that will be implemented in the city, this will likely be the last show we play here for a very long time. Sad to say.
"We truly respect whatever decisions people make with their bodies but we cannot in good conscience play shows that require personal/private medical information (like vaccination status) for entry.
"We have a special set list we're working on. This show will be bittersweet.. let's make it memorable! There's still some tickets available.. grab em up while you can! #weloveyounyc #fight #tryanny #hclives.
"FYI - this show will NOT require proof of vaccination since some are asking! The rule goes in effect soon after though."
Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York will be the first U.S. city to to require COVID-19 vaccinations for concert attendees, although the city will not enforce the mandate until mid-September. Proof of at least partial vaccination will be required.
A vaccine passport is a physical or digital document that displays whether someone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Critics say that such passports are a violation of privacy and an example of government overreach. Meanwhile, supporters point out that federal immigration law already requires that immigrants provide proof of vaccination status for several diseases.
There's plenty of precedent for having to show proof of vaccination whether for work or travel. For a century, nearly every school in the U.S. has been requiring proof of vaccinations for students to enroll. Dozens of countries across the globe require a "Yellow Fever Card" to enter their borders.
Proponents of vaccine passports, including several high-profile heavy metal musicians, have touted them as one of the most effective ways to reopen the nation's economy in a safe manner.
This past April, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider said that he was in favor of some kind of a coronavirus vaccine passport program whereby concert venues can ask patrons to show proof of testing or vaccination before attending certain events. Snider addressed the hot-button issue in a tweet, writing: "I get that some people are wary of this, but I want a vaccine passport in the worst fucking way! I wave my vaccination card around like a flag! I've got nothing to hide and if a vaccine passport will let me go places without all these covid protocols sign me the fuck up!"
Earlier that same month, TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick said that the recent announcement by various clubs and promoters around the country that they would begin staging events for only those guests who show proof of full vaccination was "what we need to do." He explained: "To go to certain countries, we need to get a yellow fever shot, and we carry this card that's put out by the World Health Organization that is proof of vaccination. What's the difference? We've been doing this for years. We wouldn't think otherwise. We don't wanna risk getting somebody else sick. So why would there be an issue here? And then, when people complain about the vaccine — 'I don't know what's in it. I'm suspicious…' Well, are you suspicious of the polio vaccine? 'Cause I think everybody gets that. I don't think you leave the hospital without getting certain vaccines."
Alex added: "I'm just amazed how people aren't aware of this. There's measles, mumps, polio… There's vaccines that we've been getting for years, and that's why we're not getting measles or mumps, or why we're not being forced to not be able to walk because of polio — because we get these vaccines. And the same medical and scientific communities that are behind those vaccines are behind these vaccines.
"My patience is running thin for these types," Skolnick concluded.