Controversy has surrounded Ticketmaster after it was announced fans would be required to verify a Covid-19 vaccination or negative test before attending events.
The story originated from a report in Billboard magazine, which suggested the company wants to use smartphones to guarantee fans are virus-free before they’re granted entry to an event. Billboard’s story explained that Ticketmaster have devised a plan in the US which involved their own ticket app, third party health information firms and vaccine distribution providers. The technology on Smartphones is said to verify ticket-holders’ vaccination status, or negative test for the virus, within a 24 to 72 hour window.
This report followed an announcement made by the drug company, Pfizer, that it had developed a coronavirus vaccine that was 90% effective in preliminary tests. The vaccine could potentially be available to the general public by next spring or summer. Giving some well-needed optimism to the live music industry after clinical trials implied that large scale shows could resume in 2021.
Music fans who are desperate for the resumption of live music events welcomed the idea. One tweeted: “Honestly I would do anything to go to a concert right now” – @youronlygoingup.
If this system becomes the new normality then the amount of people attending gigs could significantly drop, with members of the public believing that there would be too many complications upon its introduction.
The use of the app would involve sharing your private medical health records with Ticketmaster; this is an action many people feel is an invasion of privacy. @Johnnylaticia on Twitter stated: “Im not trading in my privacy for some entertainment” whilst another said: “I will happily be vaccinated but will simply not attend any events where I have to disclose my medical information to attend.”
Health records are personal and private – not something that many feel comfortable sharing with a global events organisation. Remember, Ticketmaster was recently fined £1.25m for losing UK customers’ payment card details and exposing people to potential fraud.
Currently, Covid-19 home tests should only be attained if you possess any symptoms of the virus. Yet, concert goers who are not showing any symptoms are still required to show their test results. This has led many to argue that the tests and vaccines should be saved for people who are in genuine need of them. Dr. Simone Gold tweeted: “Young healthy people are NOT the target population for this vaccine and Ticketmaster is not your physician.”
Ticketmaster has since denied reports that fans will be required to show their negative test or proof of a vaccine. They stated on Twitter: “There’s been misreporting. To clarify, Ticketmaster doesn’t set policies on safety/entry requirements. We continue to work with event organisers on all Covid safety measures & it will be up to each event organiser to set future requirements.” Another statement issued said: “we are not forcing anyone to do anything” adding, there would be “absolutely no requirement” for mandatory vaccines.