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Billy Bob's in Fort Worth Hosts Jason Isbell Concert With Required COVID-19 Vaccination for Guests

Artists are beginning to call for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for concertgoers

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People going to the Jason Isbell concert at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth saw some changes at the door.  The artist requested guest must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

"It's coming like a tidal wave,” Billy Bob’s General Manager Marty Travis said. “Whether it's the Eagles, or Maroon 5, or whoever. It's coming and we're in the front and taking a couple of punches."

Travis said this will be part of the process like checking IDs to drink.

"We are going to look at it and make it a reasonable effort to get people in, in a timely manner and we are going to check as diligently as we can," Travis said.

Billy Bob's even teamed up with a rapid COVID-19 testing company to offer free tests.

Some folks aren't happy with artists making these changes.

"I would like my money back,” Maroon 5 fan and ticket holder Kimberly Fitts said. “That's money I spent that I don't want to just watch go away especially in a time like we've had. I've had these tickets for over a year."

Fitts bought Maroon 5 tickets back in 2019 for their concert in 2020.  It was canceled because of COVID-19 and reschedule for August 16, 2021. But now Maroon 5 is requesting proof of vaccination or negative test results just six days before their Dallas concert.

"Give the fans some time,” Fitts said. “At least let them have two weeks maybe three.  Don't make it so instant. If you are going to make it that instant, then at least allow the fans to get a refund if they can't comply with those standards."

At Billy Bob's Travis said what the venue is doing is not taking a political stance it's just business.

"Tonight is the litmus test,” Travis said. “Tonight is the night we go 'hey we can pull this off' or 'man we got beat up too bad in the media, with our fans, his fans,' or 'we couldn't handle the operations.' So tonight is the litmus test to see if we can pull it off or not and I think we can."

Live Nation Entertainment, one of the country's largest concert and ticketing companies, said it would require artists and fans at its venues and festivals to be fully vaccinated against Covid or show a negative test, a spokesperson said Friday. The rules will go into effect Oct. 4 "where permitted by law," Live Nation said.

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