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Newport Music Venue to Require Proof of Vaccination

AEG, which operates PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation in Newport, announced Thursday that it will require proof of vaccinations for admittance to the shows that it hosts.

The company said that it will require proof at all venues nationwide no later than October 1.

The Twitter account for PromoWest, which operates the Newport venue and others in Columbus, Oh., said that the policy would be in effect here on August 18.

The new venue in Newport is set to open soon with acts like Kesha, Carly Pearce, the Avett Brothers, and the Killers performing on forthcoming nights.

AEG cited a surge in COVID-19 cases for its reason.

Leading up to October 1, AEG Presents will be implementing a policy of showing proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of show date where permitted, the company said.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman and CEO, AEG Presents. “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”

“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan, but we know that using our platform to take a strong position on vaccinations can make an impact," said Shawn Trell, COO and general counsel, AEG Presents:. The message we want to send is simple and clear: the only way to be as safe as possible is to require everyone to be vaccinated. And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”

The vaccination policy will be implemented as an open-ended one, with any changes or reversals informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations, the company said.

“Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” said Marciano. “We’ve already had to deliver bad news about JazzFest this week; I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”

The JazzFest event in New Orleans was canceled due to COVID-19 for the second straight year.

-Staff report