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(Credit: Jonathan Riley)

Music

Mayor of New York City removes vaccine mandate for live shows

The Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, has announced that from early May, Covid-19 vaccinations will no longer be needed in order to attend shows and gigs in the city. 

Proof of vaccination has been an entry requirement for all gigs since live music made its return last summer, but typically, the mandate was polarising. It caused a furore amongst anti-vax music fans. Famously, protestors gathered outside of Foo Fighters’ reopening show at Madison Square Garden in June. 

Now, in a triumphant announcement delivered in the iconic Times Square, Mayor Adams confirmed that as of Monday, May 7th, vaccination will no longer be a requirement for gigs, as well as bars, restaurants and gyms. 

“Businesses previously covered will still have the flexibility to require proof of vaccination or masking indoors if they choose,” the Mayor’s office stated.

The Mayor did caveat his announcement with the fact that “Covid changes, it shifts, it modifies, and we must be willing to do the same”.

It’s set to be an interesting period for the live music industry following the relaxation of Covid mandates in America. Coachella Festival is due to return in April, after being postponed three times due to the pandemic causing havoc. One of the largest and most significant music festivals, the event brings in over 125,000 attendees a day, which was the deciding factor in the event being cancelled, citing the considerable risk of spreading the virus. 

However, the festival made headlines last month when they announced that for this year’s edition, they are dropping all Covid-19 precautions.  

“In accordance with local guidelines, there will be no vaccination, testing or masking requirements at Coachella 2022,” the festival’s page on safety reads. Despite this, Coachella is yet to clarify how its policy may change in accordance with the guidelines set out by California’s Department of Public Health. This is a developing story, but the rules are sure to become a lot clearer closer to the date.

Watch Mayor Adams’ speech below.