AEG Presents, the second-largest live events promoter, will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for concertgoers and event staff upon entry at all of their upcoming venues and shows. AEG will not accept just a negative COVID test to get in.
In a statement posted on their website, AEG said that the decision stemmed from the “dramatic surge in Covid-19 cases as the Delta variant spreads throughout the United States.”
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, said in a statement. “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.”
In a statement of his own, Shawn Trell, COO and General Counsel cautioned that “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.”
Live Nation, AEG’s chief competitor, is leaving the choice of presenting a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination up to the artists. In recent days, artists like Jason Isbell have been outspoken about their stance on the issue.
AEG operates festivals like Coachella, Stagecoach, Firefly Music Festival, Day N Vegas, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and venues across the country like the El Rey in Los Angeles and Webster Hall in New York City .
Read the full statement here.