Lollapalooza. Telluride Blues and Brews. Bonnaroo. Across the country, music festivals and entertainment venues are requiring patrons to show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or that they have tested negative for the disease within the last two to three days.
Z2 Entertainment, which owns the Fox and Boulder theaters in Boulder and the Aggie in Fort Collins, has joined the growing collection of venues upping their COVID policies to fight against the spread of the COVID, particularly the Delta variant that began sweeping the nation earlier this year. Starting Aug. 7, all attendees at all Z2 venues are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours, effective until further notice.
We checked in with Cheryl Liguori, CEO of Z2, to clarify these policies and see how patrons have reacted to what, for some, is a very controversial policy.
Boulder Weekly: Will those who have purchased tickets to a show but come without proof of vaccination or negative test be given a refund?
Cheryl Liguori: Yes, we have been giving refunds for those who will not have a card or test results.
BW: What will happen to those who refuse to mask up inside the venues?
CL: Our staff is required to mask up. While there is currently no mask mandate in place, we are highly encouraging our patrons to mask up while not enjoying a beverage or food.
BW: Will a passport be accepted as a valid form of ID?
CL: We will accept legitimate passport apps to show proof of vaccination.
BW: How many folks are working across all three of these venues — Fox, Aggie and Boulder? Are 100% of these employees vaccinated?
CL: We have close to 180 on payroll but only staff that is fully vaccinated will be scheduled to work at this time.
BW: Has Z2 faced any pushback against this? If so, what has that looked like?
CL: Yes, of course we have seen some pushback and some people are not happy about our decision and others are very happy about our decision who have reached out to say thank you. It is a very small ask of our patrons. I think people don’t realize that if our venues are required to return to 6-foot social-distancing indoors then we would likely need to cancel all shows until we can return to 100% capacity. The Fox was closed for 15 months because we couldn’t allow more than 36 people (inside the venue), and the Boulder Theater opened with 10% capacity under these restrictions. We had to move all our Chautauqua shows to late summer in order to get to 100% capacity. Going back to restrictions on indoor venues is not sustainable for our business.
BW: How has Z2 responded to pushback?
CL: We understand people’s desire to come to concerts but we are not making exceptions to our new policy. Touring artists are setting their own safety protocols for the venues they tour through. We all want to slow the spread for the health of our industry and our community. I would like to add that during these stressful times, we need people to be understanding, cooperative and kind. We are all doing the best we can to ensure a safe environment to enjoy live entertainment.
Digital copies of vaccination cards may be obtained through: https://ciis.state.co.us/public/Application/PublicPortal or mycolorado.state.co.us.