Bonnaroo & Summerfest Are Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines or Negative Tests

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As the nation struggles to contain the latest COVID-19 wave, two major festivals have announced enhanced safety protocols enacted to help prevent further spread. Bonnaroo — which hosts more than 80,000 people per day over its four-day stretch in Manchester, Tenn. — revealed their requirements in an Instagram post on Tuesday (Aug. 10).

“The safety of our patrons and staff is our No. 1 priority. As such a full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test will be required to attend Bonnaroo 2021,” read the statement from the event hosting Foo Fighters, Meg Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Tame Impala, Tyler, the Creator, My Morning Jacket, Run the Jewels, Young Thug and Lil Baby, among others Sept. 2-5. “Bonnaroo strongly encourages vaccination. The last day to receive the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer, or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson is Thursday, Aug. 19.”

As for patrons who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 72 hours of first entering the festival grounds, and organizers request that unvaccinated fans wear a mask at all times while on the Farm. They are also asking that anyone who has tested positive or traveled internationally within 14 days or experienced COVID symptoms such as high fever, cough or shortness of breath not attend this year.

Similarly, Milwaukee’s Summerfest (Sept. 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18) announced on Tuesday that patrons must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the date they will be attending the event that will feature Luke Bryan, Chance the Rapper, Twenty One Pilots, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and many more.

Other safety measures on tap at both fests include increased hand sanitizer stations on site and dedicated cleaning crews hitting frequently high-touch areas, and mask recommendations in all indoor areas (including requirements for all patrons under age 12). There will also be overnight deep-cleaning and cashless transactions at Summerfest.

“We collaborated with national health experts and music industry executives and determined this was the best course of action for Summerfest,” said Don Smiley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., in a statement.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson added, “Milwaukee World Festival has been a community leader and a tremendous partner in prioritizing the health of festival staff, vendors, performers, and attendees throughout their planning. We are pleased with their proactive decision to implement these additional safety measures and ensure festivalgoers can feel comfortable attending this beloved music fest responsibly.”

To date, the novel coronavirus has infected 36 million Americans and killed more than 617,000.

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