Venues relying on vaccines or tests to keep music live on stage

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CINCINNATI – On Tuesday night, fans lined up outside the Riverbend Music Center as they waited for the doors to open to see the Dave Matthews Band. In addition to their admission ticket, fans also had to prove that they were vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they had tested negative.

For Tuesday night’s concert, the requirements have been put in place by the band, but starting next Monday, guests at all shows at Riverbend, Icon and the Taft Theater will have to adhere to a similar policy.

“We felt some criticism because of it,” said Rosemarie Moehring, director of marketing at Music & Event Management, Inc. “But I think the majority of people understand that’s what, you know, it’s is what we need to do right now to keep everyone safe. ”

Moerhing said the requirements are critical to sustaining the concert industry for shows like the Dave Matthews Band, which has attracted around 12 to 13,000 people. While cases of COVID-19 remain high, Dustin Ratliff of the Warren County Health District said people should keep in mind that outdoor events are generally safer.

“You can’t completely eliminate any risk when we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but you can take steps to reduce the risk,” he said.

Ratliff said personal responsibility should play a role. He recommends getting the shot before attending any large gathering and considering wearing a mask, even after getting the shot.

For fans who arrive at a concert without proof of vaccination or a negative test, Riverbend has provided a limited amount of rapid COVID-19 tests for Dave Matthews Band fans – to the tune of $ 50. The supply was also very limited, so officials said they didn’t want fans to rely on this service.


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