Concert promoter charges $1,000 for tickets with ‘no-vax tax’
A concert promoter in Florida is charging $1,000 for tickets with a “no-vax tax” for music fans who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, ABC News reported Thursday.
Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions said he will offer discounted tickets to an upcoming June 26 concert at the VFW Post 39 venue in St. Petersburg featuring performances with punk rock bands Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin.
Fans who have gotten their COVID-19 jabs and can show proof of vaccination can pick up the discounted tickets for $18. Those who have not will face an upcharge dubbed the “no-vax tax” for $999.99.
Williams said he wanted to encourage people to get back to public events safely after a year in lockdown.
“I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence,” Williams told ABC News. “I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots.”
Williams said the response has been “overwhelmingly positive,” but he has also gotten a fair share of messages from anti-vaccine advocates.
“To care about people being safe is very bad apparently,” Williams said.
The bands are now also on board with the plan, ABC affiliate WFTS reported.
“We’re all vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can see you in the pit,” said Ray Carlisle, who sings and plays guitar for Teenage Bottlerocket.
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order banning “vaccine passports” that require people to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to government entities.
It also prohibits businesses in the state from requiring customers or patrons to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or “post-transmission recovery” to receive services. Businesses can still institute COVID-19 screening protocols.
Williams noted that he isn’t denying entry to unvaccinated music fans, they can just “buy a full-price ticket.”
“We’re gonna let them in, we’re not gonna out them,” Williams told WFTS. “Nobody’s gonna know that they’re the person that bought the [full-price] ticket and they’ll be treated just like everyone else.”
Correction: This story was updated May 29 at 5:25 p.m. to correct the price of the upcharged tickets.
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