UPDATE: Michael Buble at Moline’s TaxSlayer Center on Sept. 16 is the first show there to require everyone in the building to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the showtime, including fans, executive director Scott Mullen told Local 4 News late Friday afternoon.
Every show has their own protocols and rules that they require. The One Night of Queen and Doobie Brothers concerts both restricted staff access to backstage hallway in an attempt to create a bubble situation around the artist, Mullen said. Kane Brown on Sept. 18 is doing the same as well as requiring staff to wear N-95 or KN-95 masks and all employees that work in the backstage area will need to pass an antigen test whether they are vaccinated or not, Mullen said.
“I am seeing these policies spreading fast throughout the arena industry. More and more artists are going to be requiring all fans to be vaccinated,” he said. “We urge fans to arrive extra early due to the effect that all this vaccine monitoring activity will have on entrance lines. It’s going take more time than usual to get everyone in the building for Buble. In order to mitigate the lines for that show, fans can come by the building during the day to show their proof of a vaccine or test and get a wristband. That way, they can get through the line faster when they arrive later for the show.
“We are also investigating using an app like Clear to speed up the process but the expense involve may be cost prohibitive,” Mullen said, noting they also try to reduce lines by our not allowing bags any larger than 5”x7”x1”, going cashless and offering mobile ordering so guests can order online and not have to wait in concession lines.
“Fortunately we have been able to ease into these new protocols and regulations gradually,” Mullen said. The Queen tribute concert had about 2,000 people, Doobie Brothers 4,500, Michael Buble will be about 6,000 and Kane Brown will draw about 9,200 people, he said, noting Illinois has a mask mandate and fans will need to keep them on at all times except when actively eating or drinking at their seat.
“These changes are a challenge and can lead to conflict with some fans, but fortunately so far the majority of people see the big picture and understand that these rules are designed with everyone’s best interest in mind,” Mullen said. “A lot of people have said they appreciate the changes and feel safer being in our venue.”
EARLIER STORY: The long-anticipated Michael Buble concert at Moline’s TaxSlayer Center on Thursday, Sept. 16 is requiring that all attendees be fully vaccinated against Covid or have a negative Covid test within 72 hours prior to event entry.
Patrons can bring their vaccination card, a photo of the card on their phone, a photocopy of the card or a confirmation of a negative test along with their photo ID as proof. Children under 12 will need a negative Covid test.
Beginning at 10 a.m. that Thursday, patrons may visit the arena’s administrative offices (1201 River Drive, Moline) with their proof of vaccination or negative test to receive a wristband for that evening’s show. This will help ease congestion at show time. Since Aug. 30, 2021, the state of Illinois has mandated face masks for all patrons at indoor public events.
Buble — the superstar 46-year-old Canadian crooner — had his original TaxSlayer date from May 2020 pushed back to Feb. 20, 2021, which last January was postponed again until Sept. 16. All his September and October tour dates are requiring the same Covid safety protocols for fans.
Documented proof of full Covid vaccination must be at least two weeks prior to event entry. “Things continue to change daily, but Michael would like to thank you for your constant support and understanding,” according to the performer’s website, michaelbuble.com. “He’s looking forward to getting out on the road again and performing live again, and wants to ensure that this is done safely.”
Buble is among a growing, long list of touring artists who are requiring strict Covid protocols for fans, including proof of vaccination or negative Covid tests. That list includes Harry Styles, Phish, Maroon 5, Dead & Co. (with John Mayer), Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Killers, and The Foo Fighters.
Isbell has said not only will concertgoers be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend all future shows, that applies whether they are held indoors or outdoors, and everyone in attendance would also be required to wear a mask.
Bonnaroo, a four-day event in Tennessee, Summerfest 2021 in Milwaukee and the Aftershock show, set to take place in Sacramento, Calif., in October, are among the many music festivals making proof of vaccination or a negative test result a prerequisite to attending.
Over 385,000 people attended the summer outdoor music festival Lollapalooza in Chicago, which required proof of vaccination or negative Covid test. Organizers said 90% of attendees on the first day of the event proved they were vaccinated, 8% had negative coronavirus tests and 600 people without paperwork were turned away.
Last month, AEG announced it will implement a vaccine mandate for entry into any of its clubs, theaters and festivals by Oct. 1.
Some of the venues under the company include Webster Hall and Brooklyn Steel in New York, The Roxy and El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and The Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas. AEG also oversees the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (which canceled this fall’s fest) and Coachella Music & Arts Festival, among others.
Rock Island County Health Department on Friday reported 144 new Covid cases since its last report on Wednesday. The total number of cases is now 16,999. Currently, 54 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 34. The number of deaths remains at 342.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Friday reported 26,062 new confirmed and probable cases of Covid in Illinois, including 197 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. More than 79% of Illinois adults have received at least one Covid vaccine dose and more than 62% of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 66% has received at least one vaccine dose and more than 51% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,564,386 cases, including 24,261 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.
A total of 14,149,453 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 20,514 doses. Since reporting on Friday, Sept. 3, 143,596 doses were reported administered in Illinois.
In Iowa, 64.1 percent of people age 18 and older have been fully vaccinated, including 61.6 percent in Scott County, according to Iowa Department of Public Health. There have been 30 Covid deaths in the state in the past week, bringing Iowa’s total to 6,337 (257 of which have been in Scott County).
The Rock Island County Health Department is offering free Covid vaccines to anyone attending Saturday’s Family Fun Day at the Martin Luther King Center, 630 9th St., Rock Island.