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AEG vax directive impacts Las Vegas concerts, events

Updated August 12, 2021 - 7:39 pm

Concert giant AEG Presents’ directive that ticketholders get vaxed or stay away by Oct. 1 has an impact across the Las Vegas events scene.

AEG is a major player in Las Vegas residency productions. The company operates the Theater at Resorts World Las Vegas, which opens Nov. 5 with Celine Dion; the Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas; and the 2021 Day N Vegas festival, Nov. 12-14 at Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

AEG is also an operating partnership with MGM Resorts International at T-Mobile Arena and also presents such headliners as Cher at Park Theater at Park MGM. But an AEG Presents spokesman said those facilities are exempt from the companywide policy. The directive covers only those venues both owned and operated by AEG.

Effective Oct. 1, proof of COVID vaccination will be required for audience members and crew at venues AEG owns and operates in the U.S. Acceptable documentation can be a physical copy of a COVID-19 vaccination record card, a digital copy of that card or any other proof as is permitted locally.

AEG is second only to Live Nation in events presented internationally and also in Las Vegas. Live Nation is permitting vaccination proof according to artists’ discretion, but not requiring it for all shows it presents. Efforts to reach Live Nation’s Las Vegas representatives for comment have been unsuccessful.

An AEG Presents statement says the vaccination policy is limited only as required by law and will be in full effect by Oct. 1. The date was chosen to allow time for those eligible unvaccinated ticketholders and company staff to reach fully vaccinated status under the required time line.

Leading up to Oct. 1, AEG Presents will enforce a policy of showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of show date where permitted.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman-CEO of AEG Presents, in a statement Thursday. “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.

“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.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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