Some of Nashville’s most well-known independent music venues will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for entry.
The delta variant is spreading fast, and 12 venues including The Basement, East Room, and Exit/In are responding by tightening restrictions.
Chris Cobb, with Exit/In, says the decision came after noticing alarming trends.
“We’ve seen a massive spike in no-show rate — people who did purchase tickets in advance and chose to not come to the show,” he says.
He says nearly 40% of ticketed fans are not attending, and that crowds in general have been smaller than expected.
But the decision to require proof of vaccination or a negative test wasn’t just for fans. It’s for artists, too. Cobb says some musicians are requesting policies like these.
“I hope that that will instill confidence in musicians and touring artists to stay on the road and not cancel their tours,” he says.
Otherwise, he says they won’t have enough shows to keep their doors open.
Beyond staying operational, Mike Grimes of The Basement and The Basement East says this is a way for the music industry to use its influence.
“We hope our decision to move forward with this results in more people getting the vaccination, pure and simple,” Grimes says. “Vaccinations save lives.”
The new policies largely go into affect this week. Refunds may be available for ticket holders who don’t want to comply. For details on individual policies, visit the venue websites for Exit/In, 3rd and Lindsley, The 5 Spot, The Basement, The Basement East, City Winery, Dee’s Lounge, East Room, The End, Exit/In, Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom and The High Watt.