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Once Upon A Time In LA Concert Failed To Follow COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Concertgoers Say

A person in a green plastic glove holds a blank COVID-19 vaccination record card.
A healthcare worker displays a COVID-19 vaccine record card.
(Nathan Howard
Getty Images)
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Two people who attended last weekend’s ill-fated Once Upon A Time In LA music festival say organizers weren’t following COVID-19 safety protocols.

The concert’s organizers are already under fire for allegedly lax security after rapper Drakeo the Ruler was stabbed to death near the backstage area of the Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park.

Concertgoer Elaine Franco said security guards at the festival did not check vaccination status for her group.

“We were in shock,” Franco said. “We were all prepared to show our vaccination card, but the security guards, I didn’t know if they were … overwhelmed or they just didn’t care.”

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L.A. County COVID-19 safety guidelines for outdoor events with more than 10,000 people require vaccine verification or a negative COVID-19 test.

Concertgoer Will Kreisberg said he also witnessed security guards giving people wristbands without checking their status.

Concert promoter Live Nation said in a statement no one was allowed entry without showing proof of full vaccination or a negative test within the previous 72 hours. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations that it failed to follow its own guidelines.

Franco said she also observed people at the event who were offering to sell wristbands for $20 to people who didn’t have proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Kreisberg also saw people — who he said did not appear to be festival staff — walking around the lines of people waiting to get in carrying “wads of wristbands and they were selling them for $20.”

He called the festival “very sketchy, very poorly operated.”

Live Nation has yet to respond to a request for comment on the claims about people selling wristbands.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health has also not immediately responded to a request for comment.

For his part, Kreisberg said he would not let the experience deter him from going to more concerts.

“I’m not going to let one horrible experience overshadow me getting back to live music,” he said.

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