Following the good, early news from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Ticketmaster is said to be deep in planning for a post-COVID concerts restart.

Live Nation’s ticketing subsidiary is reportedly building a framework for a safe return to touring, by leveraging smart-phone technology and science.

Billboard breaks the news on the in-development project, which pulls the levers on the Ticketmaster digital ticket app, third party health information companies and vaccine distribution providers.

Its genius is in its simplicity. After buying a ticket for the show, the punter would need to verify that they’ve been vaccinated or test negative for the novel coronavirus within a specific timeframe.

Once given the green light, that information would be passed along a digital chain and made available to the concert-goer.

At the coalface of the plan is Australian-born Ticketmaster President Mark Yovich. “We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval – which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” Yovich tells Billboard.

“Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients.”

Never miss industry news

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

A spokesperson closely involved with the initiative tells TIO a decision on whether to require proof of vaccination would sit with the event organiser, not with Ticketmaster.

Mark Yovich

It goes without saying, anti-vaxxers can sit this one out.

Earlier this week, Pfizer, producers of Viagra, said a vaccine it had been developing with German partner BioNTech SE was 90% effective against COVID-19, based on large-scale studies.

The medical community is cautiously optimistic, and Australia’s Government has pounced with a deal to nab 10 million doses, which will cover five million people based on the two required doses.

The development had an immediate effect on Live Nation stock, which ballooned by more than 22% in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, for its highest peak since the pandemic was called in March.

The live music industry has been crushed by the health crisis, and a vaccine can’t come soon enough. 

With close to zero income flowing into its coffers for months, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the leading players in the space, are totally exposed to the pandemic.

Since March, the touring titan has tested the waters for COVIDsafe productions, which have included socially-distanced shows and drive-in concerts.

In recent months, LN announced a Global Relief Fund had raised US$15 million, to support 15,000 roadies, techs and all the backstage crew now out of work due to the pandemic.

LN is partnering with TEG on two shows at Qudos Bank Arena later this month and early December, under the Greatest Southern Nights banner.

Read more here.