Earlier this week reports emerged detailing Pfizer and BioNTech‘s ongoing efforts to create a legitimate COVID-19 vaccine in record time, and the two drug developers have even seen 90% effectiveness in some cases following initial testing on humans.
While it’s not yet clear when the vaccine would be ready to be used on the global population en masse – or how various governments will even be able to distribute the vaccine to every man, woman, and child – leading concert promoters in the live events industry are preparing realistic policies for how they can responsibly begin to welcome fans back inside venues without fear of viral spread or legal consequences.
A report shared by Billboard on Wednesday details that Ticketmaster (the ticketing arm of concert production giant Live Nation) is working to develop multi-step guidelines for how fans can purchase tickets when concerts and festivals return, possibly as soon as summer and fall 2021.
The current plan – which the report details is still in a development phase and not yet an official company policy – would be comprised of three stages. First, any fan who purchases a ticket to an event would have to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or show a negative test. Depending on the COVID-19 health regulations and testing capabilities in their specific region or state, fans would likely be able to get tested the day prior, or even the day of the event at a sanctioned lab or health clinic.
After undergoing a test, the ticket holder would have to permit the lab/health clinic to send the results to a third party health pass company (such as CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass). The third-party health company would have to verify that the subject has tested negative (or can prove they have been vaccinated) to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the ticket holder with the proper credentials needed to access the event, likely via the Ticketmaster app.
Ticketmaster is also reportedly planning its new “SmartEvent” solutions program, which would help both promoters and fans manage post-COVID era social distancing policies, in addition to new guidelines on delayed entry, and contact tracing opportunities should a breakout occur. The safety parameters for concert venues will be mutually agreed upon by state/regional health officials and event promoters like Live Nation.
The report details that the goal of the plan would force fans to take proactive measures in making sure they’ve been vaccinated or have already tested negative prior to showing up at the venue, where rapid testing policies may also be in place by late next year, but it’s no guarantee. Skeptics should note that Ticketmaster would not receive anyone’s personal health records, only the information pertaining to his/her COVID-19 vaccination or positive/negative testing status.
“We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval – which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich told Billboard. “Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients.”