ATLANTA — Music Midtown will take over Piedmont Park in just over a month, and concertgoers this year will have to have their latest accessory with them — a vaccination card.
The two-day festival is not cheap, with some tickets running as high as $1,300 for a two-day VIP pass.
But organizers say you won't be able to buy your way in unless you can offer proof.
"I think this was the smartest thing you could do," Mara Davis said. She books talent for shows and says COVID has decimated the industry.
"It's not just the artists; it's everyone from the bus driver, to the lighting, to the rigger, to the people who sell merch. These people have not been able to have jobs for over a year and a half. It's been devastating," she explained.
Davis said she was encouraged to see Music Midtown require vaccinations or a negative COVID test to enter.
The event's website has a whole section devoted to the virus and advises unvaccinated concert goers that they'll have to show a negative COVID test obtained within 72 hours of the show and keep a mask on the whole time.
Davis says that eases the performing artists' worries in booking these shows.
"You're panicked; what'll happen if your drummer gets COVID? Then your whole business on wheels is shut down," Davis said.
But for many people online, the vaccine mandate is not enough.
One Twitter user @ClassyKellyAtl called it a super spreader event, saying hospitals are at capacity and people are buying fake vaccine cards online. In a Facebook comment, Russell Skinner said he can see people doing just that.
But Justin Dyer doesn't think the requirement is such a big deal, saying in a Facebook comment, "get vaccinated or stay home and listen to music on YouTube."
Music Midtown's website warns concertgoers that the last day to get vaccinated and have full immunity for the festival will be September 3.