The vaccination effort is ramping up in states across the country and soon, there will need to be large-scale vaccination centers. That’s where the live music industry comes in. In a recent letter penned to Joe Biden, venue organizations and associations across the country offered their locations and services as vaccination centers in the coming months.
Twelve live entertainment organizations, including Live Nation and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), wrote Biden to say they share his “vision of expedient, equitable, and widespread vaccine distribution.” Since the live music industry is currently shut down, venues have offered their empty spaces, unemployed staff, and expertise in crowd control to assist vaccinations:
“Dear Mr. President, Congratulations to you and Vice President Harris on an inauguration signifying the unity and hope necessary to move America forward. As you set about achieving the ambitious goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in 100 days, we wish to offer the full support and resources of the live event industry. We share your vision of expedient, equitable, and widespread vaccine distribution. It is our duty, as businesses rooted in communities across the nation, to do our part to set America on a positive path during this time of crisis. We stand ready to work with Federal and State governments to save lives and get America back to work and school.
We represent businesses, workers and entertainers that make up the majority of the live event industry. While we have been effectively shuttered by the pandemic, we have vast resources that, if fully utilized, could provide invaluable mechanisms in our country’s vaccine distribution. In fact because we are shuttered, we are able to offer the full weight of our industry to support vaccine distribution beginning immediately.
We are here to help. In fact, many venues are already working on the State and Local level to implement vaccine programs. Our industry has thousands of venues throughout America that are under mandated closures and sitting empty. Event venues make ideal community vaccination sites: they are located in most urban, suburban and rural communities, often near transit lines and with easy access to parking. Our interiors are clear span with bright work lights and empty standard refrigeration systems. Due to the nature of our business, our buildings and workforce are accustomed to patron queuing and crowd management.”
The letter continued to say that venues are the “best prepared, best equipped” to handle the vaccination effort:
“Live events is one of the best prepared, best equipped, most experienced industries in America to manage and control large crowds in a rapid, organized fashion. Moving people in, out, and around a public gathering space swiftly and safely is the foundation of our industry. Additionally, our familiarity using ticketing systems for advanced notification, timed entry and crowd management can greatly improve patient experience before and during vaccination as well as on-site management. There are several thousand companies in the live event industry which own the equipment and infrastructure required to build vaccination sites. An estimated 95% of live events industry businesses and workers have lost nearly 100% of their revenue, and are ready and willing to get to work immediately. These organizations can design, deliver, and manage the infrastructure as well as the people needed to staff them.”
In a statement attached to the letter, board President of NIVA Dayna Frank said: “Since the pandemic shuttered our industry almost a year ago, our buildings and our co-workers have been paused, unutilized, and struggling. These vaccines are our best chance at putting COVID-19 behind us, and our experiences organizing events and managing crowds now put us in the unique position of being the best prepared and most qualified industry to support the vaccination effort and get this country on the road to recovery.”
Read the full letter here.