Touring

Live Nation Says Artists Can Require Vaccination Proof at Concerts

Courtesy of Live Nation Entertainment

Michael Rapino

Michael Rapino says the company is empowering artists to mandate fans show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test results.

Live Nation is following a nation-wide trend of requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend concerts. The world's biggest concert promoter now intends to 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. The requirements were already implemented at last weekend’s Lollapalooza in Chicago.  

“We are working to ensure we are reopening in the best way possible for staff, artists, crew, fans, and communities at large,” said Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in a note to employees on Friday (Aug. 6). “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.” 

The practice will only be allowed to be implemented in 30 states in the country, since 20 states have prohibited asking for or requiring vaccination proof, according to Ballotpedia. For the states that will allow the request from attendees, Live Nation says there is a lot of momentum towards the model which they are encouraging.  

“I think what we’re seeing is a shift to increasing requirements for entry of either tested or fully vaccinated,” said Live Nation Entertainment CFO Joe Berchtold on Tuesday’s second quarter earnings call. “We had that at Lollapalooza over the last weekend very successfully done. Over 90% of the people were fully vaccinated, which I think was a great signal in terms of people’s commitment and support of being vaccinated in order to go to these shows.” 

Live Nation will also start requiring its staff to be vaccinated in order to enter one of their events, venues or offices. Rapino’s note to staff stated, “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.” 

The world’s largest promoter hopes these measures will signal “leading by example,” with Rapino adding that the company has seen great vaccination enthusiasm from its employees so far.  

“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,” Rapino’s note read.  

Read the original note obtained by Billboard below.

Subject: U.S. Vaccination Update   
All -
 
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. 
 
- Michael

Update: On Aug. 14, Live Nation clarified to Billboard that after Oct. 4, the company's fully owned and operated venues and festivals in the U.S. will require all artists and fans to either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, where permitted by law. Live Nation has developed best practices for artists to request these policies at third-party venues.

"Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows, and as of October 4th we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the U.S.," says Rapino.

Coronavirus