A Florida promoter has come up with a novel way of encouraging people to take up their Covid vaccinations: he's charging any unvaccinated people $999.99 to get into an upcoming show.
Vaccinated people will be able to purchase tickets to see Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin for a far more reasonable $18.
Paul Williams, the man behind Leadfoot Promotions, hopes it'll encourage local music lovers to take the vaccine seriously and get jabbed. Speaking to ABC News, he told them: "I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence. I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots.
"To care about people being safe is very bad apparently," he says. "You can buy a full-price ticket and you'll be treated like everyone else."
Make War have called their upcoming tour the Safety First! Party Second! tour, and also put a call out to their fans to get vaccinated before attending their shows: "Friends, it appears we have to coexist with COVID and music for the time being. We want to set a good example of how that can start to happen. We’ll have masks, limited capacities, and some of these venues are even moving the stage outdoors to make this happen. We don’t want to get all preachy, but by June, all US citizens will have had the chance to get vaccinated.
We are all vaccinated, and we would love it if you were too!"
Live music is beginning to open back up both in the US and UK, with a number of test events taking place in the UK to test the safety of big crowds being allowed to gather again. A trial event in Liverpool saw indie band Blossoms play to 5,000 fans at Sefton Park on May 2, and took place without social distancing or masks, but attendees were required to show a negative Covid test in order to enter the arena, taking a lateral flow test in advance at a local testing centre. They were also asked to take a test following the gig.
Ticket holders were also required to give their contact details to NHS Track and Trace to ensure they could be reached if anyone at the gig tested positive for Covid-19 in the follow-up tests.
Similar conditions will apply for the recently-announced Download Pilot event, which will see 10,000 festival-goers camping in a closed site for three days and moshing very much allowed.