While research like Project RESTART-19 is working on helping venues determine which measures help keep patrons as safe as can be expected, providers like Ticketmaster are exploring what can be done at their point of contact as literal gatekeepers.
Billboard published an article on 11/11/20 by Dave Brooks that examines how the ticketing provider is attempting to use information gathered by commercial healthcare companies to verify if patrons have recently tested negative for COVID-19 or received a vaccination.
“Here’s how it would work, if approved: After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities — if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window, most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic.”
On one hand, it may seem like a lot of work to go through for something that could be cleared up within the next year.
Having said that, if you subscribe to a long term perspective that COVID-19 is the first in what will be a series of pandemics, then the idea of investing in a system that provides peace of mind and a quantifiable degree of protection for patrons is a worthwhile bet to hedge.
If nothing else, Ticketmaster’s approach serves as a good example behind how performing arts organizations can shift out of hunker-down mode and into adaptation.