Vaccination or Negative Tests Will Be Required for Most Concerts & Festivals This Fall

Major concert promoters Live Nation and AEG are making it an official policy.

Scott Legato/Getty Images
Scott Legato/Getty Images
Scott Legato/Getty Images

Live music was one of the many industries that came to a complete halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and artists and music fans alike couldn’t be more antsy for the return of concerts this year. As restrictions on event sizes were eased in the spring and summer, many performers set back out on tour, venues started hosting gigs again, and festival season finally kicked off.

During the last weekend of July, the US held the largest music festival since the start of the pandemic with Lollapalooza in Chicago. With Lolla taking place during the latest surge of COVID cases caused by the contagious Delta variant, many were nervous the festival was bound to be the latest super-spreader event. Instead, it’s been hailed as a success. Because proof of vaccination or a negative test was required to gain entry-and 90% of attendees were fully vaccinated-Chicago has traced only 203 confirmed cases to the event attended by around 385,000 people across four days.With the entry requirement credited to the evident success of Lollapalooza, now many other concerts and live events are following suit. Basically, full vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID test will be mandated at just about every music festival, show, or tour this fall-in part due to individual business guidelines and rules in cities like NYC and LA, but also because concert promoters and venue owners Live Nation and AEG (who promote and sell tickets for many, many major tours) are implementing the policy.

Live Nation, which owns Lollapalooza, confirmed the requirement-which applies to attendees, artists, crew, and calls for all Live Nation employees to be vaccinated-to Rolling Stone in mid-August. The announcement came after the news of how few cases spread due to the festival, and shortly after, fellow entertainment company AEG announced its own, similar policy. AEG’s guidelines are actually stricter, with full vaccination required for any of its events (including Coachella, which is planned for 2022). In states where that defies the law, proof of a negative test will also be an option. AEG’s plan goes into effect on October 1 and Live Nation’s on October 4, although other cities or independent venues may already have their own active policies by then.

Based on Lollapalooza, the efficacy of the vaccine in large seems clear, and the entry requirements could be a surefire way to ensure live music can not only continue for fans and as a business, but remain sustainably safe for all artists, fans, and industry workers. AEG Presents chairman and CEO Jay Maricano noted in a statement that the company may have taken a “dramatic step,” but sees it as a “pro-active stance [that] encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated.” He said, “I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She’s on Twitter at @mssadiebell.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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