You’re finally going to a music festival! You double-check that you downloaded your tickets onto your phone. You packed your MDMA and edibles. You’re all set, right? Wrong. You may also need your negative COVID-19 test or verification that you have received a coronavirus vaccine. Welcome to the “new normal.”
Billboard reported on Wednesday that “fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert.”
Ticketmaster’s guidelines will be on par with the state’s and/or city’s coronavirus restrictions. According to the report, Ticketmaster (which merged with Live Nation in 2009) is developing a system to verify the health status of concertgoers before they would be allowed to attend the event.
After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities – if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window, most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic.
After taking a COVID-19 test, the individual would give permission the lab or health clinic to send the results to a third-party health pass company, such as CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass. Those companies would then notify Ticketmaster if the individual was eligible to attend an event because they tested negative or had been vaccinated.
Ticketmaster said that it would not have access to medical records of event attendees; the giant ticketing company would only receive verification of whether a person was cleared to attend the event on a given date. The medical results will be saved in a “secure, encrypted way that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).”
“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.”
Two weeks ago, Ticketmaster unveiled its new “SmartEvent” solutions program, “a new suite of technology tools that helps fans safely return to live events.”
“SmartEvent gives event organizers the ability to adapt protocols to meet evolving needs of capacity, distancing and other logistics throughout the reopening journey for concerts, sports games, comedy shows and other events,” the press release states. The program would give event organizers tools to develop COVID-19 guidelines and contact tracing.
Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that they had developed a coronavirus vaccine that was shown to have 90% effectiveness during Phase 3 trials.