By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – AEG Presents will require proof of vaccination for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theatres, and festivals, beginning Oct. 1. In Colorado, that includes: the 1stBank Center, the Bluebird Theater, Fiddler’s Green, Mission Ballroom, the Gothic Theater, the Ogden Theater and more.

(credit: AEG)

Leading up to Oct. 1, AEG Presents will be implementing a policy of showing proof of vaccination — or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of show date — where permitted.

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AEG’s vaccination policy will be in full effect nationwide no later than Oct. 1.

“The decision comes on the heels of the dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant spreads throughout the United States,” AEG officials stated Thursday. “The date was chosen specifically to allow time for any eligible unvaccinated ticketholders and staff to reach fully vaccinated status should they choose to do so.”

According to AEG, response to the policy has mostly been positive. Don Strasburg, Co-President of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, says refund requests have primarily come from guests who aren’t able to fulfill the vaccine requirements in time.

Some concertgoers say requiring proof of vaccination is a step too far.

Andrew Wright says the vaccine is a great option for those who want to get it, but he would like more data before getting the shot.

(credit: AEG)

“A lot of people would consider the ability to go to festivals and shows a privilege. I can’t disagree with that. I don’t think I have a constitutional right to go to a concert or a constitutional right to go to an amusement park,” said Wright. “When we start to blur those lines, I think we open ourselves up to the question of, is it a privilege to go to the grocery store? You can have your groceries delivered to your door now.”

Wright was disappointed when he heard of the vaccine policy. He says AEG shows have been life-changing experiences and pivotal for his mental health. Wright still has tickets to an AEG festival in 2020 that was postponed.

“I would likely either sell them, or depending on how things go in the near future, possibly get vaccinated. I just think it’s a little ridiculous to mandate a vaccine in order to do things when it hasn’t even been approved by the FDA,” said Wright.

Another music fan, Raj Seth, will happily wait in line with a ticket in one hand and a vaccine card in the other.

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“I think it’s good for everyone, especially with the recent COVID outbreaks and the different variants coming out. Proof of vaccine takes care of everyone else. It mitigates risk,” said Seth.

AEG says this policy is a way to protect live music and its fans.

“Being part of the solution will give us the most opportunity to keep hosting shows and be able to move forward and get to the other side of this,” said Don Strasburg, Co-President of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains.

AEG says they want to be inclusive to everybody, but considering what’s going on with COVID, tough decisions had to be made. Strasburg says requiring vaccines is the best way to keep the venues open, and the music and guests alive.

“Somebody has to step up front and lead. I do believe that almost all the other people in live music will follow suit to some degree,” said Strasburg.
Strasburg says AEG will employ more staff to check cards and keep the lines moving.

(credit: AEG)

Supporters say they’d rather wait to get in, than wait for concerts to come back.

“Lines being longer is nothing compared to people dying,” said Seth.

Since there are some concerts over the next few of days, AEG says it’s going to start asking for vaccine cards or a negative covid test on Tuesday. That’ll give people enough time to get tested if they’re not vaccinated. However, that excludes weekend shows that already informed guests of a vaccine/covid test requirements before Thursday’s announcement.

Strasburg says a two-week refund window for shows will be honored after Oct. 1.

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For more information on the policy, visit https://www.aegpresents.com/

Tori Mason