The most urgent question music lovers were asking: What will happen with the Underground Music Showcase taking place later in the month?
As UMS gears up for its August 27 through 29 takeover of South Broadway, the festival has announced it will be requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests of all attendees.
"It’s the safest way to rage on Broadway and gather for live music, and should give our guests assurance that this UMS will rock," the festival posted to its website. "It supports the future operations of our venues and shows from our artists at those venues. It allows venues to get back on their feet and continue to throw shows all summer and beyond, indoor or outdoor. It allows artists to throw the show they want, with no doubts or concerns about a packed house."
The news comes a day after Dead & Company announced it would be issuing similar requirements for its fall tour.
The live-music industry, which was shuttered for more than a year, is facing an unpredictable fall, and many leaders are pushing to make concerts as safe as possible, so fans, artists and crew remain healthy and the industry does not have to undergo another mass shutdown that could effectively destroy most venues as we know them.
Self-reported vaccinations without documentation will not be sufficient for entry, UMS notes. Instead, festival-goers will be required to show a vaccination card, a photo of a card or a copy of the card shown on an electronic device, or documentation of vaccination from a health-care provider. Attendees will also have to present a matching photo ID at the door, according to the UMS COVID-19 policy.
"Attendees unable to be vaccinated will be required to show proof of a negative Covid test within 72 hours or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to attending UMS," the policy states. That can include a printed document, email or text message from the lab.
"The information provided should include name of person tested, type of test performed, and date of negative test result (for PCR test, date of negative result must be within prior 72 hours; for antigen test, date of negative result must be within prior 24 hours)," the UMS policy states.
The UMS guidelines extend far beyond city and state guidelines, and are in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations — a testament to the music community's efforts to stay safe.
Although masking will not be required, it is highly encouraged by event organizers. UMS staff will be masked in most cases.
Refunds will be available to those who choose not to comply.
"These policies are subject to change, in accordance with state and local guidelines and changing circumstances," organizers write. "We will be updating procedures as necessary as we get closer to August 27th. For the most up-to-date information, check the UMS website (www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com) and follow our social media accounts."