Roots N Blues festival to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19

Aarik Danielsen
Columbia Daily Tribune
Concertgoers listen to Davy Knowles Band during the 2018 Roots N Blues festival.

Columbia's Roots N Blues festival joined a growing list of other events and venues to require attendees either provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test to gain entry when the fest is held Sept. 24-26 in Stephens Lake Park.

In a release Thursday evening, festival organizers said that "in order to comfortably and confidently produce a safe event in 2021, we believe it is right and necessary" to require proof of full vaccination or a negative test received less than 72 hours before attending. This standard will be applied to anyone on festival grounds: concertgoers, staff or volunteers. 

"We trust health care professionals. The health of our community is our first priority," the release said. "The safest way to enjoy live music right now is to be vaccinated against COVID-19."

In addition to this proof, attendees will be asked to bring a "valid, government-issued ID" to the festival, the release said. 

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Such requirements are a growing reality in the live-music industry. Just this week, several major players regionally and nationally announced vaccination requirements. St. Louis venues The Pageant and Delmar Hall began requiring proof of one vaccine dose or a negative COVID test to enter the venue.

Popular singer-songwriter Jason Isbell — a Roots N Blues artist multiple times over — recently announced his expectation that venues follow such rules, or he would cancel his appearance. 

And the Bonnaroo festival, located in Manchester, Tenn., also announced it would require proof of full vaccination or a negative test for its event, to be held Sept. 2-5. 

Negative tests must also be presented for children, Roots N Blues organizers noted, and the festival encourages all concertgoers — vaccinated or not — to be tested before attending. 

Roots N Blues recently announced it will sponsor a vaccination event Aug. 21 outside Rose Music Hall Aug. 21. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be on hand, and those who participate will be eligible to win a live music incentive package that includes VIP passes to the fest. 

More:Roots N Blues festival to host vaccination event Aug. 21

This year's festival, which features a woman artist in every lineup slot, is headlined by the likes of Sheryl Crow, Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile and Mavis Staples. Visit https://rootsnbluesfestival.com/ for further information.