Ticketmaster Exploring Whether to Require Fans to Verify COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test Prior to Attending Events

Concert promoters plan to implement strict safety protocol once tours and festivals finally do return

Austin City Limits canceled 2020 ACL music festival coronavirus crowd, photo by Amy Price
Austin City Limits 2018 crowd, photo by Amy Price

    This week brought news that Pfizer is well on its way to developing an effective vaccine for coronavirus, which could be available to the general public by next spring or summer. At that point, live music and other entertainment industries involving mass gatherings will *finally* begin to ramp back up. Even so, Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation plan to be extra cautious as it’s exploring requiring attendees of its events to either prove they’ve been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 prior to entry.

    According to Billboard, Ticketmaster is developing a verification system that uses smart phones to verify ticket-holders’ vaccination status or whether they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus within a 24 to 72 hour window.

    Under the current plan, ticket-holders will be asked to verify their vaccination status using a service such as  Labcorp or the CVS Minute Clinic. If they chose not to be vaccinated, they’ll need to produce a negative test approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert (the exact length is dependent on local health guidelines).


    Ticketmaster will not store or have access to fans’ medical records, but instead receive a notification through a health pass company such as CLEAR or IBM, subject to fans’ approval.

    It’s worth noting that the FDA has not yet approved third-party data sharing of real-time vaccinations results, though the concert industry, airlines, theme parks, and employment verification companies are all pushing for it.

    In addition to this verification system, Ticketmaster plans to eliminate paper tickets, restricting the ability for tickets to be transferred or sold to someone else. Additionally, the company intends to deploy a “SmartEvent” system, which will help event organizers and fans manage social distancing, delayed entry, and provide possible opportunities for contact tracing if necessary.

    As this plan is heavily dependent on a vaccine being in place, Ticketmaster and other event producers won’t be able to finalize specifics details for several more months. However, already several major tours and festivals have been announced for next fall.


    In the meantime, music fans can stay safe and support independent artists by picking up a face mask from the Consequence Store. A portion of proceeds go towards MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund. And if the current state of the world has you feeling stress, why not also pick up some CBD.

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