As concert promoters begin to develop plans on how shows can safely resume back again, a new report from Billboard indicates that Ticketmaster is working on a plan that would require concert attendees to have either been vaccinated for the coronavirus disease or tested within the last 72 hours, before being admitted into a venue.
The Billboard report stresses the plan is still very much in development, but it will require fans connect their Ticketmaster digital apps to third party health company's apps like the Digital Health Pass from IBM or the CLEAR Health Pass, as well as vaccine/testing apps like CVS Minute Clinic.
Here's how it would work, if approved: After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities — if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window, most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic.
The report then notes the fan would have the lab deliver the results to the health pass company, which then passed along the information to Ticketmaster to confirm the person is safe to enter. The article states "If a fan tested positive or didn't take a test to verify their status, they would not be granted access to the event." It does not make clear if the fan would be offered a refund for the event, or if there would be some sort of penalty.
Ticketmaster would not be keeping any medical records on their own servers, they would only be getting confirmation from the third party health apps. Another barrier is there is no app that provides real-time vaccine results just yet, but Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich is confident that the demand in the market will result in one being created soon.
Ticketmaster is also working on eliminating paper tickets, which can restrict the amount of reselling and working on something they're calling a "SmartEvent system." The system would be used to notify attendees about delayed entry, social distancing and possibly, contact tracing.
It remains to be seen what their final plan will be and how fans will respond to it.
Update: Ticketmaster has since released comment clarifying that this will not be official policy and rather the policy will be determined by local guidelines. Here is their full statement:
"It was widely misreported yesterday that Ticketmaster will be requiring vaccine status/test results for future events. This is not true. 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. 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."
Yesterday, the CEO of Live Nation, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster, noted they are working on a “roadmap to get back to live safely,” with plans to "scale shows in summer 2021."
Is this something you would be willing to participate in?