Event promotor Live Nation Canada and musician City and Colour are among those asking for COVID-19 measures at their shows.

Author of the article:

Amanda Short

Dallas Green from City and Colour performs at the Saskatchewan Jazz Fest held at the Bessborough Gardens in Saskatoon, SK on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Dallas Green from City and Colour performs at the Saskatchewan Jazz Fest held at the Bessborough Gardens in Saskatoon, SK on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Photo by Kayle Neis /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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With musicians and event promotors increasingly asking for measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, two of Saskatchewan’s largest venues are committing to be receptive.

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While not currently introducing sweeping requirements themselves, representatives of SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon and Conexus Arts Centre in Regina said they’re open to asking for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result on a case-by-case basis if requested.

On Thursday, musician Dallas Green, who goes by the stage name City and Colour, said he will require venue staff, tour personnel and ticket holders for his North American tour to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test.

Green’s upcoming shows in the province are scheduled for Nov. 27 at TCU Place in Saskatoon and Nov. 28 at the Conexus Arts Centre.

TCU Place did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Conexus said on Thursday that it would impose the measures. Ticket holders will need to have their second vaccine dose administered at least two weeks before the performance — on or before Nov. 13. This decision is event-specific and requested by the performer, Conexus noted in a release.

“If you are attending other events at Conexus Arts Centre, proof of vaccination will not be required at this time, unless otherwise stated.”

A similar route will be taken by SaskTel Centre. Executive director Scott Ford said Friday that the venue is “considering” requiring proof of vaccination.

“For some of our clients, it might be a condition of entry; the artist or the promoter won’t perform at your building if you don’t do the mandatory … proof of vaccination,” Ford said. “So we’re certainly looking into that for sure.”

Live Nation Canada said last week that it will soon add those requirements for entry to its concerts, and will enforce the rules at as many Canadian shows as possible.

“They bring a lot of shows into Saskatchewan, including my building and other buildings in Saskatoon, Regina and throughout the province,” Ford said. “So definitely we want to continue to have their business and we’d be looking at that.”

Some smaller venues are also on board. Last week, Saskatoon’s Amigos Cantina announced it would require patrons, staff and artists attending live events to provide proof of vaccination. 

The Exchange in Regina will have the same requirements, the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange Society said in a release on Friday.

All patrons and artists need to provide vaccine proof or a negative test dated within 72 hours of the time doors open. Out-of-province vaccination records will be accepted.

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The Exchange is excited to be presenting live music and arts programming again at our venues, the Exchange and the Club. To keep you and our staff safe as we re-open, the Board of Directors and Management Team of the SCES have made the decision to implement the following measures pic.twitter.com/0SzZ1aSLya

— The Exchange (@theExchangeLive) August 27, 2021

The StarPhoenix contacted 11 other venues in the two cities to ask about COVID-19 measures they were considering. Two venues in Saskatoon responded.

In an emailed statement, The Bassment executive director Julie Dell said vaccination checks are a “topic we have discussed and will continue to discuss,” but at this time The Bassment is not enforcing them.

“We plan to continue discussing this option and adjust protocols as per the guidance of SHA,” Dell said.

Black Cat Tavern booker Vince Geiger said the venue has a “handful” of concerts in the works that are confirmed for vaccine validation.

“We want everybody to get vaccinated so we can get back to what we do best,” Geiger said in an email.

“We’re just waiting to see how and where others are enforcing it and see what-all counts as valid proof in Canada before making more of these moves on a larger scale as there is still a handful questions to be answered first.”

— With Canadian Press files

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