Covid Safety at Concerts


Neneh Trainer

Inside a night time concert.

Jynx Betancourt, Lit-Art & Sports editor

With the release of the COVID-19 vaccine and the small lowering of covid cases, music artists are eager to perform in front of live audiences again. While some venues and festivals implement strict covid safety measures and guidelines, others have a lack thereof . Additionally, not everyone works to follow these guidelines honestly, and venues may not work to enforce them strictly.
Last updated in May of 2021, the CDC dedicates a part of their website to clarifying event and gathering guidelines. Their key points being listed as: avoid large events when possible, consider the risk of hosting the event and be prepared to deal with a COVID-19 case, and promote healthy behaviors plus maintain a healthy environment. They ask that the venue considers the use of social distancing, masks, hand hygiene and supplies to ensure it, and signs that promote following the guidelines.
Our very own San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, executes a few of these guidelines. Their website states, “all patrons will need to show proof of vaccination, must be 2 weeks past the final dose, and wear a mask for all events at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.” They go on to recommend N95 and tight fitted masks, and condemn any masks with “an unfiltered one-way exhaust valve.” They also state that they have collaborated with CLEAR to create a health pass that “ensures a quick and easy entry to all events.” Many concert-goers probably appreciate the clear communication and covid precautions the venue offers. In contrast, though, there’s a deficiency of both these qualities in some events’ organization.
Electric Zoo, a large electronic music festival held annually on Randalls Island, New York, received several complaints through social media regarding the lack of communication. In the comment section of the festival’s Instagram page, several ticket buyers noted that they had not received confirmation on whether the festival required proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests. One commenter writes “Can you put an email out about the covid guidelines…you should really let people know the guidelines so everything goes as smoothly as possible and people don’t get screwed over at the arrival of the event.” Following the event, “health officials [investigated] a cluster of at least 16 covid cases linked to [the festival],” writes The New York Times. It was also discovered that eight people prior to the event were contagious but attended anyway. Three days following the sale of the tickets, the festival announced that proof of vaccination or a negative covid test would have to be presented. Masks were also encouraged, but not required.
With the restrictions of covid putting live events to a halt for over a year, soon after it was considered safe enough to hold them again, the industry was back in the works. But with the spread of the Delta variant, restrictions are becoming tighter, and it’s a risky job to attend or hold live events. It is especially important, in a time like this, to consider the risks and take precautions to remain healthy and safe.