Will Ticketmaster require future concertgoers to have documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a recent negative test to enter a live show? Reports suggesting as much made headlines recently, when Billboard revealed news about the ticketing giant’s plans for in-person concerts in a post-pandemic world.
One idea floated for when live events come back is for all attendees to have evidence that they are free of the novel coronavirus. The proposal emerged after positive early results from a COVID-19 vaccine helmed by drugmaker Pfizer showed a 90 percent success rate among trial participants, as The New York Times reports.
But would doses of such a vaccine eventually be made necessary for concert attendees? That could be the case, according to Billboard, which notes, “Ticketmaster has been working on a framework for post-pandemic fan safety that uses smartphones to verify fans’ vaccination status or whether they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus within a 24 to 72-hour window.”
The Ticketmaster plan is still in a “development phase,” the report states. However, if it goes through, the arrangement would work by way of three different entities: the Ticketmaster digital ticket app; third-party health information companies such as CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass; and testing and vaccine distribution providers including Labcorp and the CVS Minute Clinic.
“We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test or other methods of review and approval — which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” says Ticketmaster President Mark Yovich.
“Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events,” he continues, “and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials.”
After the Billboard piece was published, Ticketmaster issued a statement that took issue with reporting around the story. The response explains that Ticketmaster alone can’t require such documentation from concertgoers.
“Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That is up to the discretion of the event organizer,” the statement reads in part. “We are indeed exploring these options, but it is still only a potential concept. And Ticketmaster will not be able to require such parameters — it would always be up to the event organizer.”
Truly, it’s still up in the air what concerts could look like whenever it’s safe for live music to return. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many music fans have already said they wouldn’t feel safe attending a concert unless there is a COVID-19 vaccine. To that end, some concertgoers aren’t eager for live music’s comeback, and health experts have predicted that large, in-person events won’t be able to return until Fall 2021 at the earliest.