Insisting on verifiable vaccination status to attend concert events is becoming policy at an increasing number of nonprofit performing arts venues. One of the latest is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, owned and operated by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
While the decision to require patrons be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative coronavirus test over a specific number of hours carries risk, it’s still the best decision groups can make. That assumes your venue is in a city or state that isn’t in the process of passing laws prohibiting these policies but even if you are, legal challenges and political push back will hopefully solve that problem before it lands on your desk.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are no shortage of details to consider such as children and those with genuine medical conditions that prevent them from receiving the vaccine.
In the case of the LA Philharmonic, they made sure to incorporate a refund/exchange policy (h/t sfcv.org and Tom Jacobs).
“The Philharmonic is accommodating unvaccinated patrons to a point. It announced that current ticket holders who are not fully vaccinated by the day of the concert can receive a credit to their account, or request a full refund for the cost of the tickets. ‘Subscribers who choose not to renew their tickets this season will have their seat locations retained and the opportunity to renew them for the 2022–2023 season,’ the announcement adds.”
What would make the solution even better is if we could all get a national vaccination status program in place that provides reliable proof of vaccination status and test results in an app-based platform, like New York State’s Excelsior Pass. It will make the chore of brining photo ID, print vaccination cards, etc. to a concert and for staff to sift through them like a 1980s era bank teller checking signature cards.
Given the resistance to digital vaccine passports among a quarter of states it may take some time but that shouldn’t get in the way of a platform being adopted by everyone else.