Earlier this week, Harry Styles announced that the North American leg of his Love on Tour would take place as scheduled – albeit with stringent mask and vaccination requirements in place. Now, Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival has partnered with biometrics identification company Clear to verify attendees’ vaccination status and “expedite entry on to festival grounds.”
Made in America and Clear – part of which belongs to United Airlines – just recently unveiled their plans to verify festival attendees’ vaccination status through the 11-year-old company’s app. Slated to kick off next Saturday, September 4th, Philadelphia’s Made in America has booked artists including Justin Bieber, Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat.
Regarding COVID precautions, Live Nation-produced Made in America is set to require all passholders to show that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested negative for the bug during the 48 hours before the event. Additionally, like Harry Styles’ aforementioned indoor gigs but unlike next month’s Bonnaroo, “all attendees on festival grounds will also be required to wear masks,” Made in America higher-ups have indicated.
In terms of the initially noted Clear partnership, Health Pass, “a free, mobile experience” on the entity’s app, “securely connects a person’s verified identity to multiple layers of COVID-19 related insights, including proof of vaccination and test results, to reduce public health risk and get people back to what they love,” according to the release announcing the partnership.
Coincidentally, the World Series of Poker revealed today that it had struck a deal with Clear, requiring “proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 prior to first registration” from those who wish to participate in its 2021 edition.
Back to Made in America, though, “every attendee should enroll with” Health Pass prior to the event, festival officials also stated, emphasizing that users can equip their profiles with negative COVID tests as well as proof of vaccination. These individuals will then be eligible to utilize “Clear fast lanes” at the two-day happening, which will presumably make it easier (and quicker) for staff to check for proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.
Notwithstanding organizers’ clear-cut preference for the use of Health Pass, Made in America relayed that employees will accept physical vaccination cards and printed COVID-19 test results “if you are under 18 years of age or do not have a smartphone,” with the latter classification appearing well-suited for passholders who opt to forgo utilizing the app or forget to do so. To be sure, after one uploads a vaccination card or test, “it can typically take between 1 – 2 hours for status to be verified.”
A recent study found that the vast majority of live-music fans strongly oppose establishing “certified double vaccination as the sole mandatory condition of entry” for shows, and “vaccine passports” have proved a hot-button topic throughout the broader music space as of late. In a CNBC interview, however, Clear CEO Caryn Seidman Becker appeared to push back against the idea that her company’s Health Pass qualifies as a vaccine passport.
“When we named this last March, we named it Health Pass. Actually, only 40 percent of Americans have passports, so we are not talking about a vaccine passport. What we are talking about is giving people control and access to their healthcare information, which was something that was happening before.
“So many trends were accelerated in 2020, and we see this as a material and, you know, sustaining trend that people should have access and control of their information. We think trust is crucial, and we are, you know, huge zealots on – we do not sell and share information, that people should control their information,” she said.