More than two out of three music listeners are in favor of venues implementing COVID-19 safety protocols at concerts. According to a study conducted by research company MusicWatch, 67% of music listeners surveyed who attend live shows said they believe venues should enforce requirements related to masking, proof of vaccination or recent testing.
The findings may come as a relief to many venue owners or promoters who struggled with whether or not to implement vaccine requirements, masking or other COVID-related policies earlier this year. As concerts began to open up nationwide this spring and summer, independent venues were the first to ask concertgoers to help reduce the risk, followed by industry giants AEG and Live Nation who asked fans to bring proof of inoculation or proof of inoculation or a negative COVID-19 test, respectively.
Implementing COVID-19 safety requirements “is the number one thing anyone can do to take care of those around them and we are encouraging as many shows as possible to adopt this model,” said Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in a letter to staff in August.
MusicWatch, which surveyed 753 active music listeners, also found that just 6% of respondents would not frequent a venue where there were COVID-19 safety requirements. Only 15% of fans said they would be comfortable with attendees using “common sense” regarding vaccination and masking requirements for indoor concerts.
As general manager of Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Brian Greenberg told Billboard in August that implementing vaccine requirements for his venue was met with mixed reviews. “I’m not going to lie and say everyone loves it,” Greenberg said, adding that the response have been “overwhelmingly positive.”
According to MusicWatch, 70% of those surveyed — ages 13 to 65 — were already vaccinated and ready to attend a show. That percentage goes up to 80% for fans who have attended a live music event since 2019. The study asserts that older music fans are more likely to want multiple safety protocols — both masks and proof of vaccination or negative tests.
Unvaccinated fans, however, are far less in favor of COVID-19 safety requirements. Of the unvaccinated fans who do not intend to get the shot (under 20% of those surveyed), 29% would not go to a venue where there was a requirement and only 27% think the requirements are a good idea.
Across the country, government vaccine mandates are becoming more common. In August, New York City was the first major city to announce vaccine requirements for indoor activities starting in September. Since then, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have all implemented mandates that require vaccination or proof of negative COVID-19 test results for non-essential indoor activities including concerts.