Ticketmaster Walks Back Plans to Require COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination

Ticketmaster Walks Back Plans to Require COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination

On Nov. 11, 2020, Billboard magazine reported that Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticket agency, revealed it wants to require proof that ticket purchasers have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 24-72 hours before attending an event or have received a COVID-19 vaccine with a year of the event.1 This would mean that gone are the days when the biggest concern for teens attending concerts was scraping together the money for overpriced tickets and pleading with their parents for permission to stay out late. Adults planning to attend a play in a theater or families going to football games together would have a lot more to worry about than what to wear or where to park.

However, the swift reaction from outraged consumers put pressure on Ticketmaster to walk back the earlier comments made by president Mark Yonich to Billboard that ticket purchasers to events would have their medical history accessed and screened by the U.S.-based ticket agency.

Yonich had told Billboard, “We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting—whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval—which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified.” He added, “Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients.”

By Nov. 16, TicketNews reported that a statement was issued by Ticketmaster clarifying that the company was “just exploring the ability to enhance our existing digital ticket capabilities” and that event organizers, not Ticketmaster, would have the power to require testing or vaccination as a condition of attending an event:2

We are not forcing anyone to do anything. Just exploring the ability to enhance our existing digital ticket capabilities to offer solutions for event organizers that could include testing and vaccine information with 3rd party health providers. Just a tool in the box for those that may want to use. There is absolutely no requirement from Ticketmaster mandating vaccines/testing for future events… Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols. That would always be up to the discretion of the event organizer, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.

Ticketmaster Evaluating Partnerships with Health Companies

Regardless of the weak non-denial denial, it is a fact that Ticketmaster is evaluating options for partnering with health companies to offer concert halls, theaters, stadiums and other large public event organizers the option of requiring people purchasing tickets to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Ticket purchasers using Ticketmaster could be required to submit personal medical information and have a lab provide the COVID-19 test results or vaccination history to a third-party health company via a digital app.

The third-party health company would then relay the health information to Ticketmaster, which would issue digital tickets to purchasers who were vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19. Tickets and entry to an event would be denied for those who tested positive or did not submit to testing or vaccination.3

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the third-party health care companies that Ticketmaster would employ to collect data about ticket purchaser’s vaccine status or test results. The specific regulations, such as how far in advance testing must be done, would vary according to state laws. State health officials and event organizers would determine the new rules that would be in place at events, such as regulations regarding social distancing, staggered entrance times, contact tracing, mask requirements and sanitization.4

Event tickets would need to be purchased prior to submitting vaccination status or testing results to the third-party health care provider. Ticketmaster has not indicated how they would process payments or if they would refund ticket purchasers who tested positive or were unable to get tested or vaccinated prior to the event.5

Ticketmaster Denies Requiring COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination

After media outlets broke the story about Ticketmaster’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination plan, the news quickly generated pushback from consumers that it was an assault on medical privacy with substantial potential for abuse. The company then took steps to publicly deny it will require mandatory testing or vaccination of those purchasing tickets to attend events, claiming that providing health information to establish COVID-19 test results or vaccination status will be left up to the event organizer.

“Ticketmaster does not have the power to set policies around safety/entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols,” it said. “That is up to the discretion of the event organizer. Ticketmaster continues to work with event organizers on all COVID safety measures and it will be up to each event organizer to set future requirements, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.”6

Ticketmaster management further explained that they are looking into a digital medical status entrance requirement as one of several, “potential ideas” that would allow resumption of public events.7

Ticketmaster’s Use of SmartEvent Indicates Desire to Monitor Health Status of Ticket Holders

Despite denying that it plans to implement a digital health tracking system, it seems inevitable that Ticketmaster will use advanced digital technology to run events and monitor attendees. According to a recent press release by Ticketmaster:

Ticketmaster’s robust API capabilities combined with its foundation of digital ticketing allow for the roll out of new features at record speed. Operating in over 30 countries, Ticketmaster has a front-row seat to new tech, health and logistical developments around the world that may be ripe to integrate into its platform.8

In fact, Ticketmaster has already implemented SmartEvent, a digital platform that monitors events by determining seating capacity limits, staggering entry times and conducting contact tracing.9 Smart Event is essentially a remote box office that has a number of tools that can be used to optimize safety at events. Utilizing algorithms to determine the distance between seats, the Social Distance Seating Tool will set out safe seating arrangements at events.

The Timed Entry Tool will stagger attendees arrival times; the Entry Rate Monitoring Tools will prevent lines from being too crowded; and the Contactless Scanners will check guests in via their cell phone. SafeTix’s Secure Ticket Transfer, “gives organizers the capability to know every fan in the building” and easily conduct contact tracing.10 As many as 250 organizations including the NFL, MLS and universities have already started using SmartEvent.11

As the world’s largest ticketing agency implements digital technology to monitor the health status of event attendees, NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher’s prophetic warning comes to mind…

Tomorrow, the “new normal” in America may well include the order to “Show me your vaccine papers before you can enter a store or restaurant, go to school, attend a football game, get on a plane, train or subway, obtain a driver’s license, be admitted to a hospital or nursing home, get a room at a hotel or walk on a public beach, if health policy and lawmakers do not use common sense to adopt a more balanced approach to dealing with a virus that, so far, has changed everything.12


References:

1 Brooks D. How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive. Billboard Nov. 11, 2020.
2 Clark D. Ticketmaster Walks Back COVID Requirements After Fierce Backlash. TicketNews Nov. 15, 2020.
3 See Footnote 1.
4 Ibid.
5 Lam S. Live show behemoth Ticketmaster will require PROOF of vaccine or negative Covid-19 test to attend events – report. Reuters Nov. 12, 2020.
6 Neale M. Ticketmaster clarifies future safety policy for concert-goers. NME Nov. 12, 2020.
7 Ibid.
8 Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster Introduces ‘SmartEvent’ Solutions to Help Live Events Welcome Back Fans. Press Release Oct. 29, 2020.
9 Savage M. No, Ticketmaster won’t force you to have a Covid vaccine. BBC Nov. 12, 2020.
10 See Footnote 8.
11 Iahn B. Ticketmaster Creates ‘Smartevent’ Solutions To Welcome Back Fans. The Music Universe Oct. 29, 20230.
12 Fisher BL. How Fear of a Virus Changed Our World. NVIC Newsletter June 1, 2020.

15 Responses to "Ticketmaster Walks Back Plans to Require COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination"

  1. Jack Tips   November 24, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    How can we contact Ticket Master management to file a complaint about the potential of this privacy-invasive policy?

    Reply
  2. Truth59   November 24, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    We do need commonsense from the lawmakers and they aren’t even telling the truth about a virus that they have never seen.

    Reply
  3. JennyM   November 24, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Just keep using your cellphones for everything, people. That’s how they are trying to enslave us, using cellphones and technology.

    At least there is a big pushback, but I wonder what’ll happen once the ‘health’ department gets in on the act. Yes, I’m being rhetorical.

    Reply
  4. Robin Baker   November 24, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    I have avoided commercial flights since shortly after the TSA was implemented and instead drive or charter flights when I travel. This is the same type of infringement, and I have absolutely NO problem keeping my monies from any venue that requires a health certificate to attend. There are far more entertainment options in this world than just Ticketmaster events; I’ve actually not purchased a single ticket from them in a decade, now that I think about it, so no loss at all

    Reply
  5. Susan Munro   November 24, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    This is an assault on bodily autonomy and has NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with a virus. The Covid is a screen and has been the catalyst for loss of rights and freedoms of citizens across the globe.

    Reply
  6. Colorado   November 24, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Everyone could simply go back to real normal, if they’d stop listening to the idiots in government. That and the communists whom are orchestrating this grand political theater which we are all unwittingly participating in.

    There is no such thing as new normal. There is a life with liberty, and a life without liberty. Which would you prefer.

    I’ve got your god damned testing and tracing right here. Event organizers are not the boss of me and they have no business requiring anything of me other than my entry payment. Slaves and fools will be the first to comply. Absence is the greatest objection possible.

    Corporations are engaging in what they always have done. They ruin art, restrict independence, monopolize industries, seek excessive control, hijacking the principals of representative governance in the process.

    How to wake the people up? We the people. Those government idiots. They can’t count a vote, manage money, or even keep foreign influence out of your government. And they expect the free and brave American people to put up with their incompetence? Keep dreaming. Government idiots. Nobody in their right mind volunteers to be tested and traced by the government. Truly, idiocracy is here. I will consider any push for mandatory vaccination to be an assault on my person, an assault on the principals of independence and freedom. We will not comply.

    Reply
  7. Tom   November 24, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Never using Ticketmaster again…it joins my no use list with Starbuxs, Google, Microsoft, Yelp and a host of other Commie run companies.

    Reply
  8. David Smith   November 25, 2020 at 4:49 am

    If you want something to go away, stop buying and using it.
    See this for what it is, this is the chipping they need to control you. Once chipped you will never know freedom again. Everything about you will be known and data based. What you ate, BP, pulse, heart rate, drugs you have taken, when you had sex last and anything else they think is useful information.The Covid-19 has been a vehicle to break your will and give up your freedoms, to cheat and steal the election, to bankrupt businesses, the artificial coin shortage to take it out of circulation and to usher in digital currency and the financial reset.

    Reply
  9. Sandra   November 25, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Schools and some university campuses require vaccination proof and most people just comply without blinking. So what is the difference here other than these requirements expanding in scope?

    Reply
  10. Nathalie   November 25, 2020 at 11:35 am

    May be performers who will be at the center stage of these events should rise up as well and fight this. No performers, no public… no ticketmaster!

    Reply
    • JennyM   November 28, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Apparently Eric Clapton and Van Morrison are teaming up to release a single about anti-lockdowns! I wonder if they’ll be in concert and if ticketmaster will sell it…..

      Reply
  11. Jo   November 25, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Ticketmaster can eat dung and then drop dead.

    Reply
  12. Kimberly   November 25, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    And you know damn well EVERY event organizer will be on board with this, so we may as well consider it done. As if tracing us everywhere we go isn’t invasive enough… Ridiculous.

    Reply
    • sean ryan   December 1, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      I’ve studied tyranny, authoritarianism, fascism, slavery & such for most all my life.

      One commonality throughout history has often been the Peoples unwillingness to take actions to prevent that tyranny, authoritarianism, fascism, slavery & such.

      American Patriots and Revolutionaries didn’t simply give-in, give-up, and cowar.
      They chose instead to fight for their independence and rights.

      Though the shysters (mostly the billionaire class) that are pushing these agendas need to be shamed, even prosecuted, for their actions, those people that are enabling them, via continued support, need to be shamed even more.

      In Ancient Rome & Greece, one of the greatest methods of propaganda & population control was popular entertainment (i.e. pop culture).
      Like the Greek Theater, or the sporting events at the Roman Colosseums.
      (https://brewminate.com/propaganda-of-the-ancient-roman-world/)

      The same is happening today.
      Too many people have failed to learn from the mistakes of the past.

      No one has the right to complain as long as they continue to enable & support the people and institutions that oppress them.

      Start supporting local, small, & independent businesses & such.
      Those that will work harder for your business, by catering better to your needs, preferences & wants.

      Talk – Action = 0

      P.S. – I encourage everyone to read more books & other sources, like Giants – The Global Power Elite. by Peter Phillips, to educate themselves on how the massive concentration of wealth we’re seeing in modern times is leading to the quick erosion of innate human rights.

      Money IS power.
      As long as we continue to give these Elite our money, they will continue to exercise power & control over us.

      Reply
  13. sean ryan   December 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Take a look at the largest institutional shareholders of TicketMaster’s parent corp., Live Nation Entertainment:
    (https://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=lyv)
    Hint: Look under the “Institutions” tab on the above linked page..

    You’ll see many the largest investment banks, which have become the largest holders of the largest shares of the largest “competing” corps., in most every single industry.

    The same Cartel of largest investment banks that also exist as the largest shareholders of the largest hospitals, insurance co’s, and largest pharmaceutical co’s.

    What’s more, these largest investment banks exist as the largest shareholders/investors of each other (along with the billionaire class)…..
    Like a true Cartel.

    Too many people tend to think the CEO’s & Executives of these companies, like Live Nation, are those that control them.
    But these largest shareholders exercise active management & control over those corporations whose shares they hold.

    These large institutional shareholders have the wealth, and thus power to choose, and make or break the careers of Executives, and Board members of the corps whose shares they hold.

    These investment banks are forcing the corporate decisions that force the public to support the other companies in their portfolios.

    Virtual monopolies.

    Same scenario was occurring in 18th century Britain, prior to the American Revolution (read Cato’s Letters [not to be confused with the pseudo-“Libertarian” Cato Institute], by 18th century Authors John Trenchard & Thomas Gordon for more info on the malfeasance of the South Sea Co, the East India Co, and other giant corps. that were controlling the British Monarchy).
    (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Category:Cato%27s_Letters)

    The Boston Tea Party was a rebellion against the special-interest legislation influenced by these corporate giants of their time.
    Special-interest legislation designed to force commerce of/for these corps.

    Where there is dependence, there is a lack of independence.
    Where there is a lack of independence, there is a general absence of freedom, liberty, rights, justice & such.

    People need to start doing more for themselves.
    People need to take back control of their own lives, and stop supporting the businesses owned by this Cartel.

    It’s foolish, even insane, to willingly/actively give up control of one’s own life, but complain of that loss of control, whilst continuing to support the same shysters that are taking away those freedoms, liberties, rights, justice and such.

    Freedom isn’t handed over by those in power/control.
    Nor is it easy.
    Freedom takes constant hard word. and continued oversight.

    Talk – Action = 0

    Reply

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