Managing News Editor
On August 12, AEG Presents announced that guests will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theatres and festivals — including Delaware’s own Firefly Music Festival.
“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, AEG Presents CEO, says in a press release. “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.”
Considering the festival’s close proximity to campus, it is common practice for university students to attend. Many applauded the decision to require a COVID-19 vaccine to attend.
“I think it’s excellent,” Samantha Haas, a junior neuroscience and psychology double major, says. “It would be irresponsible at best to do anything less.”
Although Firefly and AEG have faced some backlash in the wake of their announcement, students like Maggie Talamantes maintain that it is up to the owners of the festival to decide the best course of action.
“It’s a smart decision,” Talamantes, a senior political science major, says. “Firefly has a right to make that rule as a business [and] event.”
While not required, AEG Presents is also “strongly encouraging” concertgoers to wear masks. Despite the precautions being taken, some students have yet to decide whether or not they will attend the festival.
“[The requirement is] most definitely needed, though people will find their way around it, I’m sure,” Emma Calhoun, a junior elementary education major, says. “I’m also hesitant about [going to] Firefly since the pandemic is not really slowing down.”
Other students, such as junior medical diagnostics major Sebastian Cain, have decided not to go altogether.
“I’m actually selling my ticket because, vaccine requirement or not, I don’t feel safe going,” Cain says. “But I am glad they’re requiring it.”
The press release noted that the requirements are subject to change based on updated information relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments and local and federal regulations.
“Our hope is that our proactive stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” Marciano says. “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.”