Posted: Aug 23, 2021
Category: Live Performance
**Guest post by Kristen Ford, Nashville based indie rock act with a passion for music business and a book on DIY touring in the works.
On Thursday night I had a band gig in East Nashville at a club called The East Room. The East Room is one of 13 Nashville venues where either "Proof of a Vaccine or Negative Covid Test" is required for entry. It doesn't matter if you're in the band or a fan, everyone will need proof of vax or a recent negative covid test. All of New York City has this policy, as well as all NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) venues. NIVA has members in all 50 states and represents over 3000 independent music venues, comedy clubs, performing arts centers, concert promoters, and festivals in America. Music festivals such as Folk Alliance and Kerrville already have similar policies for future events.
This means regardless of your local rules and regulations, or your personal views on vaccinations, touring artists need to be ready for this policy change. The easiest way to navigate this is to get a covid vaccine. You can find a free vaccine in your area HERE. Once you have shot number one and then two, photograph the front and back of the card and save the pics to your "favorites" in your phone. Keep the original card in a safe place.
The other option if you've decided to not get vaccinated at this time, is to make sure that everyone is able to get tested for covid before the show. Rapid testing can be booked a few days in advance and is free at Walgreens or CVS, you should have results within an hour or two. Google "rapid covid testing" in your area and try to plan a few days ahead, so schedule your test in New York City on Sunday or Monday for Wednesday morning test, ahead of your Wednesday night show. Some venues like City Winery are offering on-the-spot covid tests, but for a fee of $15- which could really add up for a full band over the course of the tour.
You also may want to consider how many of your fans will be willing to show proof of vaccine or get a covid test. It may be divisive enough an issue you could do a traditional show at the venue and arrange a streaming show or unplugged outdoor show in a backyard or park which could be open to anyone.
Major acts are canceling for covid outbreaks left and right, the Delta variant is contagious AF and we are all sick of this pandemic. But for a little while longer, mask up, wash those hands, and do your part in keeping everyone safe. Know your status and the types of risks you may be taking by going out, playing, and hosting shows. Together we are all making the hard choices to make everyone feel safe, allowed to choose what goes into their body, and getting back to live music!
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