Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell has announced he will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from anyone who wants to attend his shows. According to Brooklyn Vegan, he and his band will also refuse to perform at a venue that doesn’t check for vaccinations. He said so after going live on MSNBC today, August 9th.
During his talk with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, the artist explained that the response to his announcement by fans and businesses has been positive. “They understand that we could go back to not working at all, and a lot of these smaller venues, they aren’t going to be able to reopen if they go through another round of shutdowns…they’re just getting so much pushback from some of the governors of certain states who want to kowtow to their political base and try to make people think that their freedom is being encroached upon,” Isbell says. “I’m all for freedom, but I think if you’re dead, you don’t have any freedoms at all. It’s probably important to stay alive before you start questioning your liberty. It’s life and then it’s liberty and then it’s the pursuit of happiness.”
You can watch his statement below:
We’re now requiring proof of vaccination or a current negative test to attend all our shows, indoors or out. If the venue won’t allow that, we won’t play. https://t.co/KSYmsT5qAl
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) August 9, 2021
His announcement comes shortly after multiple artists have made similar statements. Indie rock band Japanese Breakfast shared that they would only play for a vaccinated crowd a few weeks prior. The city of New York has also announced people attending any indoor events in the city have to provide proof of vaccination, starting in September. The Foo Fighters decided to only perform at venues that require proof of vaccination before they started their tour and were met with some backlash by a group of anti-vaxxers.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz