Following in the footsteps of many restaurants, music venues and sports stadiums all over the country, Proud Larry’s and The Lyric are the first businesses in Oxford to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from their patrons in order to enter.
The Lyric announced the requirements would start on Aug. 18. The venue has had their first two in-person shows in nearly 18 months – The Futurebirds performed on Aug. 25 and Robert Earl Keene performed on Aug. 27.
On their website, they have listed what each patron needs to bring to be granted admission into the show. Each patron must bring either a negative COVID-19 test from an official testing center or a digital or hard-copy proof of their COVID-19 vaccine two weeks after their second dose or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Clay Garstin, who attended the Robert Earl Keene concert, said that The Lyric was very well organized and the check-in process went smoothly.
“After checking your tickets, The Lyric had two stations to show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test. They matched the name on your ID to the name on your vaccination card. If you had a negative COVID-19 test, they verified your name as well as the date,” Garstin said.
Proud Larry’s owner Scott Caradine said implementing the same requirements was a necessity.
“All performers have requested this system,” Caradine said. “This is pretty much standard in live music venues.”
Jason Isbell, a Grammy award winning artist, has stated that he will only perform at music venues that require their patrons to provide proof of vaccination.
“If the venue won’t allow that, we won’t play,” Isbell told Rolling Stone.
Isbell has canceled shows in Houston, Texas and Brandon, Mississippi because the venues refused to comply and enforce his requirements.
Isbell has also received mixed responses on his social media from fans praising him for incentivizing those who want to see his shows to get vaccinated, to people belittling his stance.
Twitter user, @ScottHurt3, who responded to Isbell’s tweet promoting his show saying, “Why don’t you just stay home or not perform if you really want to make a point.”
Caradine says that the responses they have received from the community have been mostly positive, with a few negative ones.
“It’s simply what we need to do to see the concert industry stay alive, even on the size level at Proud Larry’s,” Caradine said.