AEG Presents will require all U.S. concertgoers and event staff to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the live entertainment company announced Thursday.
The policy, which AEG said will be "limited only as required by law," goes into effect Oct. 1 for all of its owned-and-operated festivals, clubs and theaters.
The mandate comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases as the delta variant sweeps the country.
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, in a press release.
He added: “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one."
Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel of AEG Presents, said he believes the company's public stance on vaccination "can make an impact."
"The message we want to send is simple and clear: The only way to be as safe as possible is to require everyone to be vaccinated," he said. "And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”
AEG Presents is one of the biggest concert promoters with venues across the country including Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel in New York, El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, and The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas.
It's also behind some of the largest festivals, including Coachella, Firefly Music Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which was pushed back to the spring because of the pandemic.
The company said that the Oct. 1 deadline will give fans and staff enough time to become fully vaccinated. Because the shot is not yet available for children under 12, a negative coronavirus test taken with 72 hours of the event will be required.
AEG Presents said it will accommodate medical and religious exemptions "upon submission of necessary documentation."
Face masks will still be encouraged for everyone attending an event.
"I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening," Marciano said.
A spokesperson for AEG Presents said the vaccine mandate does not include artists, but they are "strongly encouraging artists and their crews to be vaccinated for all our shows."
"Hopefully by announcing this policy, we are providing them with incentive to do so," the spokesperson said.
For events held prior to that the company's deadline, concertgoers and staff will either have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken with a 72-hour window of the event.