TUCSON (KVOA)– More and more entertainment venues are requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative Covid tests to attend concerts and shows. It’s part of a nationwide trend, largely spearheaded by the entertainment industry.
Broadway in Tucson is one of several venues implementing new Covid safety policies.
“So we have to think about the actors, the dancers, the backstage personnel, the crew, the musicians, the front of house staff, the box office staff. There are a lot of people who come into play to make a 2.5 hour musical happen on stage every night. And then you add 2500 patrons. We just want to make everyone as safe as possible,” said Broadway in Tucson General Manager Mario Di Vetta.
Many musicians and productions aren’t local and concert promoters, like Live Nation, updated Covid-19 protocols in early October. Requirements were already implemented at this summer’s Lollapalooza and organizers say there was about a 90% vaccination rate among attendees.
Anticipating the change, the Rialto Theatre worked with other Arizona venues to implement the new protocol. “We wanted to prep our audience and get them ready for what the future was going to look like when going to see live entertainment or sporting events,” said Cathy Rivers, Executive Director at the Rialto Theatre Foundation.
The Rialto has required masks and vaccine proof since September 20th. “We’ve seen lots of different responses and it’s very interesting. It’s all over the place, it’s not identified by genre of music or type of person, people just have very strong feelings,” Rivers said.
Tucson’s Loft Cinema implemented its new policy a few weeks ago after conducting a survey of its members and consulting with other independent art houses.
“Our goal was to keep people safe. Keep our staff safe, our volunteers safe, our audience members safe,” said the Loft Cinema’s Executive Director, Peggy Johnson. The survey showed an overwhelming support for vaccine proof.
“Actually like 90, 97% of the people said they are already vaccinated. 80% plus said they would be more likely to come to films at the loft it there was a vaccine mandate,” Johnson said.
Broadway in Tucson said this isn’t a permanent policy. “We plan on assessing every 30 days and our hope is the numbers improve in Pima County, the numbers go down,” Di Vetta said.
Be sure to check vaccination policies before you buy your tickets, most venues have their covid policy posted on their websites, and you could be denied entry.