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Summerfest to Require Vaccine or Negative Test — Your Move, Everyone Else

The 53rd iteration of the event — which runs September 2nd-4th, 9th-11th, and 16th-18th, — will feature more than 1,000 performances

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Milwaukee’s Summerfest 2021 joins the growing list of events requiring a Covid-19 vaccine or negative test for entry, according to a joint statement with the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

The 53rd iteration of the event — which runs September 2nd-4th, 9th-11th, and 16th-18th, — will feature more than 1,000 performances including Miley Cyrus, Chris Stapleton, Megan Thee Stallion, Jonas Brothers, Luke Bryan, Chance the Rapper, Guns N’ Roses, Dave Chapelle, Wilco, Dave Matthews Band, Diplo, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bleachers, Dave Chapelle, Black Pumas, Run the Jewels, Pixies, Rise Against, and Goo Goo Dolls.

Attendees will be asked to show their vaccine cards or negative tests at the gate; negative tests must be taken within 72 hours of the event. Masks will also be required in indoor spaces and it is recommended, not required, that unvaccinated people wear masks.

Covid cases have recently spiked in Milwaukee, as have hospitalizations, according to The New York Times.

Summerfest’s policies pretty closely mirror those that were in place at Lollapalooza, where a reported 90 percent of the first-day audience was vaccinated. The decision also comes after New York City put a vaccine mandate in place for indoor activities, including concerts, and several musicians — like the Eagles and Jason Isbell — announced that they would require vaccines at live shows.

Bonnaroo also announced a vaccine/negative result mandate on Tuesday, following Summerfest.

With the rise of the Delta variant, Covid-19 has been taking its toll on the live music scene;  New Orleans Jazz Fest announced it was scratching its plans to return this October due to “the current exponential growth of new Covid cases in New Orleans and the region,” Limp Bizkit and pop singer Michael Bublé canceled all their August shows, and Lynyrd Skynyrd nixed four shows (in Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama) after guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for Covid-19.

Fans are waiting to see what efforts future big summer events will implement to cut down on the rise of Covid. Governor’s Ball, for one, has not announced any hard and fast rules. “This is a bit of a moving target as health guidelines will evolve over time (as more and more people are vaccinated),” their website reads. “While we don’t know what may or may not be required come show day (e.g. proof of vaccination, proof of negative test, etc), rest assured that we are working closely with the City.”

In This Article: covid-19, direct, live music, Summerfest

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