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Going To El Rey Or Coachella Fest? You'll Need Proof Of Vaccination Starting Oct. 1

An image of the view over the Coachella festival.
Festivalgoers are seen during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California.
(Rich Fury
/
Getty Images for Coachella)
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Excited to go to a music festival? Great! Wait, are you unvaccinated? Then hold up.

Mega-promoter AEG, owner of Goldenvoice promotions and known for festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach, has announced that it will require proof of vaccinations for all attendees at their shows no later than Oct. 1. You won’t be able to use a negative test as a substitute for that vaccination proof.

The policy isn’t just going into effect at AEG’s festivals, though. It will also be in effect at their clubs and theaters. That includes the El Rey, the Fonda Theatre, the Novo, and the Roxy in Los Angeles.

AEG notes in the announcement that the date was chosen to allow for people who have tickets and aren’t vaccinated to get fully vaccinated if they want to do so. Until this goes into effect, AEG is implementing a policy that does allow for a negative test taken within 72 hours of an event.

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These policies will be limited by any applicable laws, which may still mean some exceptions.

“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan,” AEG Presents General Counsel/COO Shawn Trell said in a statement.

But the range of alternative options for those who remain unvaccinated is narrowing.

Other festivals this affects include the Cruel World alt-rock and Just Like Heaven indie rock festivals set for this spring in Pasadena.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” AEG COO Jay Marciano said in a statement. “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic ... The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. ... We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”

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Of course, this policy could change in the future, depending on what happens with COVID-19, the delta variant, and more. The policy is described by AEG as “an open-ended one, with any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations.”

The policy follows AEG being forced to cancel their New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival due to the delta outbreak in that area, as well as concerns about the effects of the 385,000-capacity Lollapalooza festival. However, health officials note that there have not been indications that Lollapalooza was a super-spreader event. More than 90% of attendees at that event were vaccinated, and just 0.0004% of vaccinated concertgoers have reported testing positive, along with 0.0016% of unvaccinated concertgoers.

But if you want to make sure you’re able to go to Coachella or any other upcoming AEG show, you need to get vaccinated.

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