Tickemaster under fire as reports suggest Covid vaccine will be needed to attend gigs

Ticketmaster came under fire this week after several media outlets published stories about how the ticketing giant was exploring the idea of gig-goers needing to provide a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination to attend concerts.

The NY Post, Billboard, and other US publications announced on Wednesday that Tickmaster was planning to check the coronavirus vaccination status of concert-goers prior to shows, once a vaccine was approved.

Reports suggested that the ticketing giant also planned to have customers use their mobile phones to verify their vaccination status or whether they’d tested negative for the virus within a 24 to 72 hour window.

According to the NY Post, Ticketmaster would not be storing or accessing medical records, but if approved, fans would need to verify that they’ve either already been vaccinated or have tested negative as recently as 24 hours prior to the show.

Anyone who tested positive or didn’t get screened would not be granted access to the event venue.

However, following the report which was published by several US news media outlets, Tickemaster issued this statement:

“We have noticed there has been some misreporting around safety protocols.

“To clarify, there is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing.

“In short, we are not forcing anyone to do anything.

“Just exploring the ability to enhance our existing digital ticket capabilities to offer solutions for event organisers that could include testing and vaccine information with 3rd party health providers.

“Just a tool in the box for those that may want to use.

There is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events.

“Unfortunately, this has been widely reported and is incorrect.

“Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols.

“That would always be up to the discretion of the event organiser, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.

“We are exploring a number of safety features for event organisers to utilise as they look to welcome fans back to events.

“This includes tools from Ticketmaster’s recently announced SmartEvent suite like social distanced seating, contactless entry and more (read more info on SmartEvent here). 

“Again, the event organiser will determine what, if any, of these measures are implemented at their individual event, not Ticketmaster.”

The Westmorland Gazette:

So, what is Ticketmaster doing when it comes to COVID vaccines and testing?

The ticketing giant says it is continuing to prepare for potential possibilities in the future, and stated that as it has become more common for people to take a Covid test before activities like traveling and seeing loved ones, they will be prepared for the eventuality should it be something event organisers or venues ask fans to do.

The statement continued: “If this is something that event organisers or venues choose to ask fans to do in the future (either for their own preferences or due to local health requirements), we want to be prepared.

“One idea to keep the event entry process as simple and convenient as possible is to find a way for fans to link their digital ticket to their negative test results, vaccine status, health declaration or any other info that is determined to greenlight access.

“This would allow fans to enter an event with one scan of their ticket, rather than entering and then having to wait in another line to show their health verification.

“While we have no control whether or not these factors will come into play in the future, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s to prep for as many scenarios as possible.”

A few important things to note:

Ticketmaster said the this was still just a potential idea and is not being implemented at this time.

They also reiterated that as with all safety/entry protocols, it would be up to the discretion of the event organiser to determine if they would like to ask attendees to provide a health verification.

If it were to be made possible, all health information would legally have to be stored with a 3rd party health care provider with HIPAA-compliance, not with Ticketmaster.

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs