AEG Presents, the second-largest live entertainment company in the world, announced that it will require proof of full vaccination for all attendees and venue staff at its U.S. venues beginning on October 1st.
This comes as venues and artists across the country implement similar policies, though AEG is the first major entity of its to allow for only vaccinated individuals at its establishments.
Over the past week, numerous entertainment companies like I.M.P. and major festivals like Bonnaroo and Summerfest have announced policies that would require all attendees to either present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48–72 hours. This announcement from AEG comes as the strongest pro-vaccination statement yet, both given the company’s size and the fact that there is no backdoor left open for negative tests.
“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-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.”
The policy will go into effect on October 1st, a date chosen “specifically to allow time for any eligible unvaccinated ticketholders and staff to reach fully vaccinated status should they choose to do so.”
AEG venues dot the entire United States, from The Warfield in San Francisco, CA and The Roxy in West Hollywood to Terminal 5 and Music Hall of Williamsburg in New York, NY. Many festivals also fall under the AEG umbrella including Coachella, Stagecoach, the recently canceled New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and many more.
“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate,” Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel of AEG Presents said, “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.”
AEG’s largest competitor, Live Nation, currently allows artists to decide whether to implement COVID testing/vaccination requirement protocols on a case by case basis.
— AEG Presents (@aegpresents) August 12, 2021