Vaccine and COVID test? Ticketmaster clarifies its plan for bringing back live events

Alyssa Newcomb

Concerts have been one of the many luxuries people have had to live without during the coronavirus pandemic, but Ticketmaster is thinking about how to bring them back safely.

The company clarified a recent report that suggested it could require audience members to show proof they have received a vaccine or tested negative for COVID-19.

"We have noticed there has been some misreporting around safety protocols. To clarify, Ticketmaster does not set policies around safety/entry requirements, which include vaccines and/or testing protocols. Ticketmaster continues to work with event organizers on all COVID safety measures and it will be up to each event organizer to set future requirements," the company said in a statement.

As the live-events industry looks toward a plan for restarting its business in 2021, the blueprint for what that will look like is still in the very early stages.

"We are exploring a number of safety features for event organizers to utilize as they look to welcome fans back to events. This includes social distancing, contactless entry and more," the statement said. "Any screening requirements will be up to the individual event organizer and local health guidelines, and not Ticketmaster."

However, the company is looking at how it can use technology as a tool to prevent concerts from turning into virus superspreader events. That plan could include asking ticket holders to share whether they've been vaccinated or have tested negative for the virus within a certain window of time, dependent on local rules, according to a Billboard report.

"We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval — which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified," Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster, told the outlet in an exclusive interview that was released days after Pfizer announced promising news about a vaccine. The drug maker said its vaccine is 90% effective in preliminary tests.

"Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events," Yovich said.

That's music to our ears!