Here’s what Ticketmaster’s COVID-19 testing policy means for future gigs
The live music industry has been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. With events worldwide canceled, companies such as Ticketmaster and Live Nation are seeing financial losses and mass layoffs. However, it looks like the projected return of concerts and events in 2021 just got a bit more realistic.
On Monday, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine showed a 90% efficiency rate during its clinical trial. For Ticketmaster, this latest advancement is causing the company to develop plans for when concerts do return. Among those plans is a thorough, and optional, screening test of COVID-19 vaccinations and negative tests.
Earlier this month, we got our first look at how Ticketmaster is preparing for the return of live events. The company is developing new SmartEvent technology that makes it easier for venues to comply with social distancing measures.
According to the company’s blog post, the new technology “gives event organizers the ability to adapt protocols to meet evolving needs of capacity, distancing and other logistics throughout the reopening journey for” events.
Within the technology is the Social Distance Seating Tool that uses “custom algorithms” to work out the most efficient way to seat attendees. The tool also allows organizers to maximize a venue’s capacity while still following social distancing rules.
Now, it looks like Ticketmaster is developing even more ideas following the latest vaccine development. According to Billboard, Ticketmaster may use smartphones to verify fans' vaccination status or negative test results before they attend an event.
After purchasing an event ticket, fans will have to verify that they have either been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 at least 24 to 72 hours prior to the start of the event.
Once their test is complete, the lab will deliver the results to their health pass company (CLEAR or IBM). If the test comes back negative or the fan is vaccinated, the company would then verify their status to Ticketmaster. From there, the fan would be issued the credentials needed to attend the event.
However, it's possible fans may be denied entry if they test positive for coronavirus, they haven't been vaccinated or didn't submit results. Billboard points out that many details in Ticketmaster's plans still need to be worked out. Ultimately, if these proposed policies do more forward in the future, venues and promoters can decide whether or not to implement them.
Although some may find these plans to be invasive, Ticketmaster will not have access to fans' medical records. Through the proposed plans, medical providers will deliver status reports to Ticketmaster through a secure and encrypted format that follows the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Even though Ticketmaster already has the ball rolling, it may be a while before these plans actually happen. Currently, the FDA has not approved the distribution of any COVID-19 vaccine. If Pfizer's vaccination does get approval, the company estimates it will be able to produce 50 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
What are your thoughts on Ticketmaster's COVID-19 testing policy plans? Let us know in the comments below.