As coronavirus variants continue to spur on spiking case totals worldwide, concert giant Live Nation is giving its touring artists the latitude they need to protect their fans, crews and themselves from contracting COVID.
An internal “best practices” document obtained by Variety, signed by Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, stipulates that “artists doing shows with Live Nation in the U.S. can require all attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test result for entry, where permitted by law.” That last caveat is significant, sadly: Numerous states have moved to outlaw vaccination mandates.
The Live Nation document cites last weekend’s Lollapalooza as an example of successful vaccination status/test result requirement enforcement, although it remains to be seen how successful those measures were in actually preventing the spread of COVID.
It also notes that, starting on Oct. 4, the company “will be requiring that all employees in the U.S. be vaccinated to enter one of our events, venues or offices—with limited exceptions as may be required by law.”
This will seem like a no-brainer to most, but it’s a big deal. Live Nation artists now have institutional backing for taking what would, in a sane country, be considered a common-sense health and safety measure.
It’s also a far better look for Live Nation than recent rumors of contractual gag orders that purportedly prevented artists from publicly disclosing COVID infections, though Live Nation strenuously denied the existence of any such requirements, tweeting, “There is absolutely no covid gag order in our contracts. We care about our employees, crew, fans & artists and will continue to meet requirements of local health officials as we put on events.”
Japanese Breakfast recently became one of the first prominent artists to announce that she would be requiring masks and either proof of vaccination or a negative test result for entry to shows on her upcoming tour. “We are currently working w all venues to make this happen but for some cities this will have to be a case by case basis (it’s illegal in TX to require vaccination),” she noted on Twitter. “We will be as transparent as possible about these shows and fight for this across the board.”
Read the full Live Nation document below, via Variety.
It has been great to see events make such a strong return across the U.S., with demand for concerts and festivals continuing to outpace our expectations.
LIVE NATION SHOWS
We are working to ensure we are reopening in the best way possible for staff, artists, crew, fans, and communities at large. Our teams have worked together to put new processes in place so that artists doing shows with Live Nation in the U.S. can require all attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test result for entry, where permitted by law. We believe this is a great model, and we have already implemented this successfully at many major shows including Lollapalooza. We know people are eager to return to live events and we hope these measures encourage even more people to get vaccinated. That is the number one thing anyone can do to take care of those around them and we are encouraging as many shows as possible to adopt this model.
EMPLOYEE VAX REQUIREMENT
In support of this model and to continue leading by example, we will be requiring that all employees in the U.S. be vaccinated to enter one of our events, venues or offices – with limited exceptions as may be required by law. This requirement will go into effect October 4, when our offices are set to reopen their doors for flex work, and to allow on-site staff a few weeks to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. HR will share more details on this soon. As a reminder we are providing an extra paid day off for every dose so you can schedule appointments easily. We’ve seen great vaccination enthusiasm among our staff so far, and we want to ensure we’re taking every step possible to keep you all safe.
Our business and our industry is about uniting people and vaccines are one of the greatest tools for making sure that everyone can continue to enjoy live music together. We’ve gone through a lot this past year and it’s remarkable to see how far we’ve come. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to your HR partner. And thank you for continuing to play a role in our continued success.