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Unvaccinated Australians could be barred from festivals, theatres and sport and entertainment venues

Unvaccinated Australians could be barred from festivals, theatres and sport and entertainment venues
July 28, 2021

Australians could be banned from concerts, festivals, performing arts and sporting venues unless they get vaccinated under a 'no jab, no entry policy' being suggested by promoters and venue owners.

As reported today by the Mail Online and Melbourne’s Sun-Herald, promoters Live Nation, Chugg Entertainment and Andrew Macmanus, along with Melbourne theatre operator Marriner Group are backing the policy.

With the Australian arts and live performance industry having suffered massive losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group are reported to be backing the introduction of vaccine passports could be trialled as soon as enough of the population are inoculated to make it viable.

The report suggests that, after a number of spreading events during Premiership fixtures, the AFL is also considers forcing fans to be vaccinated before entering venues.

As reported by the Mail Online, those backing vaccine passports argue they “are essential for the survival of the music and arts industry after theatre and music venues took the biggest hit during Melbourne's five lockdowns, with bans on crowds and audiences to continue for another fortnight.”

Vaccine passports, which are already implemented in many countries overseas, grant an entry pass for people who can prove they have been vaccinated.

The Federal Government is currently understood to be developing an app that will contain vaccination details of Australians as part of moves to enable the eventual return of international travel, such technology could also be applied for domestic use.

This was confirmed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month who advised that  vaccine passports would be introduced as part of the Federal Government’s four-step plan out of COVID lockdowns - building on vaccination certificate information that is already available through MyGov and Medicare.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has also flagged potential greater freedoms for residents, including access to major events, if they are fully vaccinated.

Premier Andrews also said vaccinated fans being able to attend AFL games would be part of a wider initiative to incentivise people to get the jab, advising “once we've got many, many more people with the jab, we can then have a discussion about what that might mean for them, freedom of movement, changes that deal with some of the risks we face.”

Advising that 'no jab, no entry' policies have been “very effective” overseas, Live Nation Asia-Pacific President, Roger Field told the Herald Sun “we need to work with government and start trialling these and other initiatives here in order for the industry to get back on its feet.”

Veteran promoter Michael Chugg also believes vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic for an industry trying to stay afloat as tours face weekly cancellations or rescheduling, adding “vaccine passports need to happen.

“Unless everyone comes together on this, we're just going keep dealing with this crap.”

Music promoter Andrew Macmanus told the Herald Sun he also supported the idea of the vaccine passport, suggesting those who disagree “don’t come to the concert. Stand outside”.

However, Live Performance Australia (LPA), which has lobbied over the past 16 months for a timetable for venues to reopen, is currently undecided on the matter but LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson advised the association is “looking closely” at vaccine passports models overseas.

Nonetheless, she acknowledged that the current situation for the sector is “dire”, adding that hopes of the concert and festival touring recovering later this year had been “blown out of the water” by the most recent lockdowns.

PricewaterhouseCoopers this month found the Australian music industry shrank by 39% last year - a loss of around $700 million.

Australasian Leisure Management has advocated for vaccine passports to be adopted by the industry, even extending to aquatic and fitness facilities to require them for member and user access.

Images: A vaccine passport app as used for international travel in Europe and the Middle East (top, credit: Joe Cusamano) and Live Nation Asia-Pacific President Roger Field (below).

Related Articles

28th July 2021 - No crowds to be allowed at AFL matches in Victoria despite COVID-19 lockdown easing

26th July 2021 - New research shows that Australian arts and culture will need a ‘total reboot’ after COVID

25th July 2021 - World Health Organization adviser says big sporting crowds should be banned

22nd July 2021 - With live events an important part of life, Australians crave the return of international artists

20th July 2021 - Victorian performing arts community launches advertisement backing COVID-19 vaccinations

17th July 2021 - International sport environment bodies call for global health protocols for venue operations

16th July 2021 - WTTC highlights need for international recognition of all approved COVID-19 vaccines

13th July 2021 - Vaccine Passport could be on Phones by December

8th July 2021 - VMA says Australia getting vaccinated is the key to live entertainment industry’s road to recovery

7th July 2021 - Should the leisure industry play a role in Australia’s vaccine rollout?

20th June 2021 - Vaccines to play a key role in leisure industry recovery

15th June 2021 - Tripadvisor research reveals COVID-19 vaccines driving global tourism demand

4th June 2021 - Return of international tours vital for Australia’s entertainment venues and promoters

2nd June 2021 - Theme park tickets and airline rewards offered as incentives for vaccination uptake

25th March 2021 - Federal Government announces $135 million in funding for live entertainment

25th March 2021 - Live performance and entertainment bodies welcome Federal Government’s funding extension

23rd March 2021 - Entertainment and Live Performance sector representatives takes argument for industry support to Canberra

19th March 2021 - Live Performance Australia calls for 100% capacity in all live entertainment venues

22nd February 2021 - Live Performance Australia calls for targeted JobSaver action to prevent further collapse of the arts and entertainment industry

11th November 2020 - Art experience promoter slams Governments for not releasing committed arts funding

6th November 2020 - Major Promoters commit to Australian Festival Association initiative to revitalise the sector

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

11th April 2019 - AEG Ogden welcomes Gudinski and Chugg to its global family

1st April 2017 - Promoter Andrew McManus spared jail time in suitcase drug money case

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