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Coachella is Now One of Several Festivals Implementing a Vaccine Mandate for Fans and Staff

Promoting giant AEG is applying its vaccine policy to festivals and venues across the country.

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AEG Presents, the promoting giant that oversees festival like Coachella and Stagecoach, announced that as of Oct. 1, all fans and staff must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend future shows.

Neilson Barnard | Getty Images

Until Oct. 1, proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the concert date will be enough to gain entry, but after that date, a negative test won’t cut it. There will be exemptions in states that ban such policies. A Thursday press release noted this date was chosen specifically to allow enough time for unvaccinated ticketholders and would-be concert-goers to get fully vaccinated.

AEG either owns or partially owns a variety of venues throughout the country, including New York’s Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel, Los Angeles’s the Roxy and El Rey Theatre and Las Vegas’s Day N Vegas.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” says Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman and CEO of AEG Presents. “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.”

Related: How Brands Can Work With Festival Sponsorship

According to the company, the vaccine policy will be open-ended. Changes and reversals will be determined by infection rates, transmission data, variant developments and local and federal regulations.

Earlier this week, AEG Presents canceled October’s JazzFest in New Orleans, which Marciano pointed to in making the announcement of the vaccination mandate.

“Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” he says. “We’ve already had to deliver bad news about JazzFest this week; I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”

Related: How to Disrupt Live Entertainment: Lessons From Music Festivals Doing It Right