Concert promoter Paul Williams is charging unvaccinated patrons $999.99 for an upcoming punk rock show in Florida.
A punk rock concert promoter says unvaccinated people will have to pay almost $1000 to attend an upcoming gig – while those who have had their Covid shots will get in for just $18.
Paul Williams has set an unusual ticket price structure for an upcoming gig in St. Petersburg, Florida, by punk band Teenage Bottlerocket.
Fans will have to provide proof of vaccination to get the cheaper tickets.
‘We’re just trying to do a show safely, and they should go out and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families and their community,’ Williams told ABC of the potential concert goers.
Williams said he wasn’t sure he could legally bar unvaccinated patrons from the show, which is slated for June 26 at the St. Petersburg VFW Post No. 39, so instead he came up with the unusual price tier.
The show is being headlined by Teenage Bottlerocket. Band members said they were first skeptical of the ticket price, but were later on board
‘We’re gonna let them in, we’re not gonna out them,’ he said. ‘Nobody’s gonna know that they’re the person that bought the ticket and they’ll be treated just like everyone else.’
There are 250 tickets available to vaccinated people for the St. Petersburg show, and four for unvaccinated concertgoers. So far, Williams said, there have been no unvaccinated takers.
Normal ticket pricing for the show is $18. Williams said he wanted to encourage people to get vaccinated, and believes that it would have been illegal to bar unvaccinated people from going to the concert
But by asking for proof a vaccination, Williams could be running afoul of an executive order signed in April by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which prohibits businesses in the state from requiring patrons or customers to produce documentation that they’ve been vaccinated to gain access.
At the time, DeSantis said: ‘It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.
‘Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life — such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater — would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.’
On May 3 DeSantis signed further legislation that would slap businesses, schools and government departments with a $5,000 fine for asking for proof of vaccination, with an exemption for licensed healthcare providers.
But Williams will likely avoid that fine, as it comes into force on July 1st – just days after the June 26th concert.
There is also the potentially thorny legal issue of asking for medical records.
Dr. Jay Wolfson, associate vice president for health law, policy and safety for the University of Southern Florida said, ‘It would be discriminatory if a business said show me your personal health information,’ ABC also reported.
The show is set for the St. Petersburg VFW Post No. 39
The ticket policy may possibly run afoul of a recent executive order by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that bars private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for entry
Roughly 38 percent of Floridians have been fully vaccinated so far according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least one Teenage Bottlerocket fan is disappointed, however, and says she thinks the ticket policy is unfair.
Punk fan Brittney Wigen has been been unable to get vaccinated yet due to recently recovering from a bout of Covid-19 herself, but with antibodies in her blood from her recent infection, she believes she has some protection.
‘I think it’s terrible because not everyone can get the vaccine. I can’t because I had COVID too recently,’ she told ABC.
‘I understand what they’re doing. I think it’s very nice of them, but it’s just not fair,’ Wigen said.
Teenage Bottlerocket member Ray Carlisle said the band was skeptical of William’s idea at first, telling CNN, ‘We thought he was kidding.’
Teenage Bottlerocket fan Brittney Wigen said she thinks the ticket pricing is unfair because she has so far been unable to get vaccinated
Eventually, however, they were on board.
Williams, he said is, ‘doing his best to keep the audience and the band, the staff at the venue safe and we go along with this idea.’
Carlisle noted that he and the rest of his band are also vaccinated, and said people should get vaccinated because it’s the right thing to do.
‘Don’t do it because Teenage Bottlerocket’s telling you to do it,’ he said. ‘Do it for your health, do it for your community.’
He said unvaccinated fans can attend another show on their tour in Orlando, which does not have such a ticket pricing structure, and told ABC that Wigen has another option.
‘Perhaps put together a Go-Fund-Me, and all the other weirdo anti-vaxers can help support you going to Teenage Bottlerocket for a thousand dollars,’ Carlisle said. ‘That’s always an option.’