Wilmington country music fans react to Live Nation vaccine mandate

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Monday, Live Nation will implement a new policy requiring all concertgoers be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

Until now, the decision whether or not to require proof of vaccination was left up to individual artists. The new policy will apply to all Live Nation shows.

Vaccines were not required at Thursday’s show featuring Lady A, Carly Pearce, Niko Moon, and Tenille Arts.

“I’m really excited about Carly Pearce, I’ve been a fan of hers for a while,” said attendee Mikayla Wagnes.

Several fans said it was their first time experiencing the city’s newest concert venue.

“This will be my first one, I’m very excited about it!” said Denise Linto.

“We’re from Western Mass, so this is our first time coming to any concert down here, first time at the Live Oak theater,” said Cheri Ricciardi.

“We’ve always had to travel to Raleigh for big shows so we’re excited that there’s a local one,” said Lauren Lucas.

For some, their first experience could also be their last. Several fans say they won’t attend any more concerts once the new vaccine mandate goes into effect.

“In that case I probably won’t be coming down to another one, not here,” said Rob Ronner. “Until that changes I will most likely be steering clear of it.”

“This is probably our last one, well for me,” said Adaire Camden.

“I feel like if they would have changed it before, we would have gotten a refund,” Lucas said.

Others feel the policy should have been implemented sooner.

“Actually I was a little disappointed to realize that that was not in place tonight,” Ricciardi said. “I think those kinds of mandates and restrictions are how we’re going to get to the other side of COVID.”

Some say they’ll follow whatever restrictions necessary to enjoy the show and be safe.

“I’m a nurse, I work at the hospital, and so I have no problems with asking people to get the vaccine,” Linto said. “None at all.”

“I’ll follow any mandate that any private company puts in place,” said Camille Bayer.

Under the new policy, guests must show proof of vaccination with their last shot being at least two weeks prior.

For those who are not vaccinated, both PCR and antigen COVID-19 tests are accepted. They must have been administered within 72 hours before the show.

You can find answers to frequently asked questions here.

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