Australia’s music industry is weighing up the introduction of vaccination passports as a pass into venues, and the arguments for such a system appear to be “strong”.

Vaccines have emerged as the fast-track out of the pandemic, and so-called passports are already rolling out in North America and Europe.

Music industry professionals here are closely watching those trial runs.

There are “strong arguments in favour of requiring vaccination as a condition of entry for both venues and patrons as safer spaces,” explains John Wardle, Policy Director at the Live Music Office, although the practicalities of managing entry and ticketing would require guidance and likely some “integration across federal, state and industry health and service platforms.”

Despite surging COVID infections across New South Wales, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week unveiled a plan to leave lockdown behind, once 70 per cent vaccination rates is met.

Currently, more than 6 million jabs have been administered across NSW, with one third of the population fully vaxxed.

Gladys Berejiklian
Gladys Berejiklian

Last Thursday, Berejiklian told industry and consumers to pencil-in a type of Freedom Day for mid-October, when the state is expected to reach its next target and open-up to people who are fully vaccinated.

Never miss industry news

Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more

State government is said to be leaning towards “passports” that would carry holders’ vaccine history, as a ticket to entry into a range of workplaces.

The music industry is keenly observing efforts in North America and Europe, including the Bruce Springsteen on Broadway run, and in Germany, where venues can allow entry exclusively to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID within the last six months.

“We are seeing some support for these requirements expressed around the grounds domestically at the political level,” Wardle tells TIO via email, “and we are staying attuned to the position from other industries which face similar challenges such as the hospitality and tourism sectors.”

Established by the Federal Government, in partnership with APRA AMCOS, the Live Music Office pursues opportunities for live music in Australia by identifying and advocating for better policy, regulation and strategy.

Vaccination passports are becoming the norm in the northern territories.

Live Nation and AEG Presents, the world’s two leading live entertainment groups, separately announced that, from October, artists and audiences will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test to be admitted to their venues and festivals.

The ALMBC “won’t support anti-vax activity and will promote a move towards 100% vaccination of the country as a strategy of getting back to work,” the trade body’s Chair Stephen Wade recently told TIO.