US live industry encourages vaccinations | EU parliament votes in favor of Covid passports | California MLB teams remove social distancing requirements (for some)
US live industry is encouraging fans to get vaccinated #Vax4Live
With over 40% of the population in the United States having received their first dose and 30% fully vaccinated, demand seems to have stalled. In places like Texas where Ubbi Dubbi, self proclaimed “FirstFestBack”, went down last weekend with no testing or vaccine requirements to speak of, it's not hard to believe that people reluctant to get vaccinated have opted out entirely. While masks were encouraged by organizers, photos of the event clearly show this requirement was readily ignored by the majority of attendees. It remains to be seen whether the Ubbi Dubbi free for all will have an impact on the COVID situation in Texas but authorities in the state have already expressed concerns about reaching herd immunity with the current rate of vaccinations.
As a result of the vaccination slowdown, several big players in the US live industry have teamed up to promote the #Vax4Live campaign. The National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) is leading the charge and has garnered support from the likes of AEG Presents and the Independent Promoter Alliance, among others. The goal behind the campaign is to promote awareness, educate and encourage people to get vaccinated so live events can return safely. The website itself provides links to the CDC website highlighting facts and dispelling rumors as well as information on how to get vaccinated.
Many promoters still have reservations about hosting large scale events at such an uncertain time. In fact, the organizers of Burning Man announced on Tuesday that the decision to cancel Black Rock City had been made for the second year in a row. Marian Goodell, CEO of Burning Man, took to the screen stating “we recognize the pandemic is not over.” The safety of staff and attendees is always the number one priority for organizers and it remains too difficult given the current circumstances around vaccinations.
Vaccine passports in time for summer travel...so they say
On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to develop an EU-wide COVID passport expected to be available just in “time for the summer”. These certificates will allow individuals that have been fully vaccinated, individuals that have recovered and individuals that have tested negative to travel within the EU. Holders of the certificate will not be required to quarantine, take additional tests or self-isolate and will be allowed to move freely around the 27 EU member states.
These certificates could not only open up travel but could pave the way for events to return as well. Since last week, Denmark has been using a similar scheme to reopen bars, restaurants and museums as well as allow fans to return to football matches. While the UK has poo pooed the idea of using certificates to gain entry into restaurants and pubs, the government is reviewing the idea for use at larger events.
Safe to say we’re all keeping our fingers crossed on this one!
“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd...”
Fully vaccinated baseball fans in California are going to start experiencing some additional perks. Well, they’re perks if you haven’t grown too fond of the extra personal space. Down in San Diego last weekend, the team experimented with increased capacity sections reserved for people who had received both shots at least 2 weeks prior or had a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the opening pitch. Capacity was still limited to 67%, but San Francisco and Los Angeles are upping the ante.
Both teams hope to be at near full capacity in the vaccinated sections. Access to these reserved sections will require a full vaccination status at least 2 weeks prior for all individuals 16 and older. A negative test result will only be acceptable for children 15 years and younger with those under 2 being exempt from both. All 3 stadiums are still requiring fans to mask up but they can get as close to one another as they want. Confidence is high since California has one of the lowest incidence rates in the country and at least 30% of residents have been fully vaccinated. Play ball!