Some Michigan concerts will require proof of vaccination

Matthew Donnellon
Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash


As the threat from the Delta variant grows, and vaccination numbers start to wane, venues and businesses are trying to prevent outbreaks and shutdowns.

Some places in Michigan are already starting to require proof of vaccination before admission. Recently, I reported that the Marble Bar in Detroit would do just that.

Now if you want to go to a concert, you may need to show proof of vaccination.

Today, country music artist Jason Isbell has announced that he is requiring the audience to either be vaccinated or show a negative Covid test.

He announced on Twitter, “We’re now requiring proof of vaccination or a current negative test to attend all our shows, indoors or out. If the venue won’t allow that, we won’t play.”

When asked about it in an interview for MSNBC, the artist doubled down on his stance, “"I'm all for freedom but I think if you're dead, you don't have any freedoms at all."

So why is this relevant,

Because Isbell will be performing at The Fillmore in Detroit on September 20th.

The Fillmore has not yet announced if they will be honoring the request, but several venues have stated they will do so. However, I would suspect they would honor the request as they currently offer rapid tests for the audience for Dave Chappelle’s show coming up. This isn’t that big of a step up.

This would be a smart move. Michigan has already seen a large Covid outbreak after the Faster Horses festival, “Michigan health officials have traced at least 66 new cases of COVID-19 to the Faster Horses music festival in Michigan a couple of weekends ago.

Some health experts have already dubbed the gathering of country music fans a potential superspreader event. But in the context of the Delta variant's rise around the country, an outbreak of new cases is increasingly worrying experts that new, more resistant variants of the coronavirus could spawn from increasing rates of infection.”

More concerts will likely follow suit, Live Nation, the company that handles tours for most large artists, has announced they may start requiring vaccinations for attendees. Live Nation is the company that put on Lollapalooza in Chicago recently, which required people to be vaccinated, “Joe Berchtold, President of Live Nation Entertainment, told shareholders Tuesday they are “seeing a shift to increasing requirements for entry of either tested or fully vaccinated.” He said that “over 90%” of Lollapalooza attendees were fully vaccinated, which he said he thinks “was a great signal in terms of people’s commitment and support of being vaccinated in order to go to these shows.”

I would expect more artists to start making the same requirement.

More details to come.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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