In the wave of the rapid spread of the more contagious Delta variant and stalling vaccination numbers in the U.S., AEG Presents, the live music arm of AEG in charge of Coachella and major venues, will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for guests and staff at all of its events beginning October 1st.
The venues they own or partner with include Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel in New York; The Roxy, El Rey Theatre and Staples Center in Los Angeles; The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas, and many more. In addition to Coachella, AEG Presents also promotes All Points East in London, Buku in New Orleans, Global Dance Festival in Denver, and other large music festivals.
The date was chosen to allow time for those who have yet to be vaccinated to do so. Up through September, AEG-run events will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.
The new policy is “limited only as required by law” and may be updated as the global fight against the coronavirus continues to shift. The corporation hopes that their pro-vaccine stance will encourage more people to get vaccinated, and inspire other venues, event organizers and promoters to implement similar safety protocols.
“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,” AEG Presents COO and General Counsel Shawn Trell said in the statement.
“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,” he went on. “And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” AEG Presents Chairman and CEO Jay Marciano explained. “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.”
He continued: 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.”
One of the other major live event companies in the U.S., Live Nation, followed AEG’s news with their own updated protocol: they will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test beginning October 4th.
Earlier this month, New York City became the first U.S. city to announce it will require proof of vaccination for those attending indoor activities, including attending nightclubs. Their vaccine requirement will be fully enforced by September 13th and has begun its roll out this week.