AEG Presents, the concert promotion arm of AEG, announced today that it will be requiring proof of vaccination for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theatres, and festivals. AEG’s deep portfolio includes New York’s Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel, The Roxy and El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, The Theater at Resorts World Las Vegas, Firefly Music Festival in Dover Delaware, Day N Vegas, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Southern California.
The move follows news that Live Nation will give artists the option to require proof of vaccination or negative test for any shows in the United States, and will make it mandatory for any staff at those events or in company offices.
“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” says Jay Marciano, chief operating officer for AEG and chairman and chief executive AEG Presents.” 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.”
The requirement comes as a new surge in COVID-19 cases hits the United States due to the spread of the Delta variant. The vaccination policy will go into full effect nationwide no later than Oct. 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,” a release announcing the policy reads. “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.”
Certain states’ regulations may override AEG’s 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,” added Shawn Trell, chief operating officer and general counsel, 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.”
“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.”