American rock band Foo Fighters is among the first major music powerhouses to launch cross-country tours since the outbreak of COVID-19. In June, it graced the stage of Madison Square Garden, bringing beloved songs back to a frenzied crowd of over 15,000 fans. More significantly, it is also one of the first big touring acts to require proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination, a stipulation that has sparked outrage, most especially among anti-vaxxers.
The Grammy Award-winning band, which was set to perform in Anchorage on August 17 and 19 and in Fairbanks on August 21, revealed this preventative measure in a statement released by Ticketmaster.
“The Event Organizer is requiring fans to agree to the terms below prior to ticket purchases & event entry. Please note these confirmations will apply to all members of your party before they are allowed to enter the event and to any users of the tickets purchased by you. By purchasing tickets for this event, I confirm that at the time of the event, I will have received a negative COVID-19 test within 48-hours of the event, OR have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (14 days past final vaccination shot), and will provide proof of vaccination prior to entering the venue. Children under 12 years of age or fans with a valid medical reason preventing vaccination will be required to take a COVID-19 diagnostic test within 48-hours before the event, and will provide proof of negative result prior to entering the venue. Mask wearing will be encouraged,” read the full statement.
The requirement to present either a proof of vaccination or negative test results upset a number of individuals who believe that vaccine mandates serve as a violation to bodily autonomy and take away people’s freedom to enjoy what they like. Angered over what they saw as modern-day discrimination, some banded together, rallying at some concert dates, including a show in California where people carried signs condemning the band for what they deemed to be a move to medically segregate humans.
Former child actor Ricky Schroder, a known advocate against vaccines and masks, was spotted among the protestors at the vaccinated-only concert at the Canyon Club in Augoura Hills. None of them were wearing masks and were seen holding signs with slogans that say “Foo Fighters fight to bring segregation back” and “Vaccines cause injury and death.”
Given the infamous anti-vaccine movement in the United States, the protests outside the concert venues weren’t a total surprise. But despite the criticism and the fans who announced that they would no longer be supporting the band, Foo Fighters remained firm in their decision.
Apart from Foo Fighters, a roster of other prominent solo artists, bands, and concert venues has implemented regulations amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations caused by the delta variant. In the months to come, more are expected to join this growing list, which includes Phish, Maroon 5, Dead & Co., The Killers, and Jason Isbel.