AEG Presents has announced that it will require proof of vaccination in order to gain entrance to its live events moving forward.

Billboard reports that AEG Presents, which is the concert and live events wing of AEG, announced on Thursday (Aug. 12) that it will require all fans and staff in attendance at its club venues, concert theaters and festival events to furnish proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The news comes amid alarming surges in new cases and deaths in the U.S. and worldwide due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more contagious than the original novel coronavirus strain. In a limited number of cases, the Delta variant has also caused "breakthrough" infections in people who have been fully vaccinated.

“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" says Jay Marciano, who serves as the chief operating officer for AEG and chairman and chief executive of AEG Presents. "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.”

The new vaccination policy will take effect by Oct. 1, leaving time for unvaccinated ticketholders and staff at upcoming events to get fully vaccinated if they want to.

According to a press release announcing the news, "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."

AEG Presents Chief Operating Officer and Chief Counsel Shawn Trell says regulations in specific states may override the new AEG policy, and some artists might not get on board with the decision. Trell says AEG Presents is confident that taking such a stance on vaccinations can have a "strong impact."

"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," Trell states. "And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”

AEG Presents' decision comes just days after Live Nation revealed that it will allow artists to decide for themselves if they want to mandate fans having to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to live shows.

Several country music venues in Nashville have recently changed their requirements for entry to enforce COVID-19 safety. Local music club The 5 Spot recently announced that they'll require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a 72-hour negative COVID-19 test at the door to gain entry. City Winery Nashville is also requiring patrons to present proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to attend live events.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit mandated similar requirements for their recent run of shows at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater. In order to attend the shows, which ran from Aug.7-9, fans were required to present proof of vaccination or a negative 72-hour test. Masks were also required at those shows.

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