The Commercial Music Sector Lines Up Behind Required Vaccination Policies

While nonprofit performing arts orgs aren’t alone in sorting out vaccination policies, they are still one among many. But the commercial music industry is able to go about this from a corporate level where presenting groups like Live Nation and AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group) are able to address this from a one-to-many perspective.

According to an article in the 8/19/21 edition of Variety by Chris Willman, those organizations aren’t discussing whether or not vaccine requirements policies should exist, rather, they are discussing the details about what types of verification are acceptable.

This is nothing but good news for the nonprofit performing arts sector.

While the article focuses expressly on the commercial end of things, you’ll see that those groups are dealing with precisely the same sets of issues: revenue, ethical, and political.

The article has a great quote from Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Oak View Group and co-founder of the Arena Alliance when the thorny issue of politics enters the conversation.

“But I’m hoping that the politicians stop making this a political issue and we get to some sense that this isn’t about a person’s individual right anymore,” Leiweke continues.” The reality is, it no longer becomes your individual right when you ultimately can walk into any place — a restaurant, an arena, a theater, a stadium — and infect others. Then that becomes we, not me.”

It was especially good to see the discussion begin to examine the potential outcome of what will happen to the minority of states actively legislating against vaccination requirements.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the outcome will likely be free market based in that performing artists will gravitate toward venues in states that support vaccination mandates.

In short, unless there are local or state laws preventing your organization or venue from enacting a vaccination policy, there’s no reason to wait if you haven’t done so already.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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