Live Nation Canada to require vaccination proof or negative test at concerts

People cheer the Arkells on stage during their first live performance since the pandemic restrictions lifted, at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto on Friday, August 13, 2021. The concert marked the first live event for the band since the pandemic. Tijana Martin / Canadian Press

Live Nation Canada says it’ll soon require ticket holders to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they’re granted entry to its concerts.

A representative for the live event promoter told The Canadian Press that the company will enforce those rules at “as many shows as possible” in Canada.

Live Nation Canada declined to answer further questions about the plan or when the new measures would take effect.

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But it said in a statement that ticket holders will be notified by email with “important information needed to plan their visit to our events.”

The mandate comes as concert venues and promoters face increasing pressure to outline what actions they’re taking to ensure their premises don’t become home to superspreader events for COVID-19.

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Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it will require staff and patrons to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before gaining access to its venues and restaurants.

A representative for MLSE confirmed those requirements will be enforced at concerts held on its premises, which include Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, where Enrique Iglesias, Maluma and Genesis are booked to play later this year.

Live Nation Canada described its planned mandates as a reflection of the guidelines enforced by its U.S. parent company at Lollapalooza, a four-day music festival held in Chicago earlier this month with about 385,000 people.

Local health officials traced at least 203 cases of COVID-19 back to Lollapalooza and characterized the figure as largely anticipated and not a superspreader event.

Live Nation moved to replicate that model across the United States by saying last week that it would require shots or proof of negative tests for all events starting Oct. 4, as long as it was permitted by local laws.

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“Live Nation pioneered a great strategy with Lollapalooza – which saw over 90 per cent of attendees show up vaccinated,” a statement from Live Nation Canada said.

“We are working to get as many shows as possible on this model.”

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Live concerts are already being held across the country under varying COVID-19 measures.

For example, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival held 50 indoor and outdoor shows at full capacity with no mandates. Manitoba is allowing events with less than 1,500 people to be held indoors at full capacity as long as the attendees are fully vaccinated.

In Ontario, many large clubs and venues have booked indoor concerts starting in October with the hope that restrictions will be loosened in the province to allow for more than 50 per cent capacity.


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