Are Vaccine Passports the Future of Music Festivals?

Apr 16, 2021

A recent study found that masks and good ventilation are more effective than social distancing for preventing the spread of COVID. That would make it seem like outdoor music festivals could be ready for a comeback this summer. With mandatory masks and natural ventilation outdoors, they are decently set up to reduce the spread. 

Unfortunately, social distancing remains enough of a concern that large gatherings like in a festival are still considered a major COVID risk. So what will it take to bring festivals back offline and into our lives?

To help alleviate the risks of social gatherings, officials and festival organizers in the UK are looking at requiring vaccine passports from anyone who wants to attend a music festival. Today, we’re looking at what a vaccine passport is, how it works, and whether it will be adopted in America. 

Vaccine Passport

Where a passport is proof of citizenship allowing you to travel, a vaccine passport is documentation proving vaccination and negative COVID results. The idea of the vaccine passport is that people can use them to perform certain activities. It proves that they are at low risk of having or spreading the virus. This helps to keep them and other festival-goers safe.

Although vaccine passports haven’t yet been adopted in the USA, similar concepts are in place. For instance, anyone flying into the country must provide proof of a negative COVID test before boarding the plane. 

COVID passports aren’t going to look like your standard travel documents. In the UK, where the idea began, they are looking at using a smartphone app for the passport. This will allow for live updates on test results and vaccination dates.

How Will It Work?

If you want to go to a festival or other large social event, you show your passport at the entrance. The app provides a barcode that can be quickly scanned to verify negative test results and full vaccination records. 

The app connects to online platforms that monitor test results and vaccination dates, accumulating them in one location for quick reference. 

Will They be Adopted in America?

In Canada, where the virus is still going strong, vaccine passports are looking likely. But in the US, things are further along on the way towards normalization. Texas has already lifted its mask mandate and some other states are looking to follow suit in the near future. So in many states, a vaccine passport for music festivals may not be necessary. 

Still, many Americans may be looking to get their own vaccine passports, even if they don’t need them at home. Europe is looking at allowing American travelers to start visiting again if they have vaccines. Getting into EU countries, festivals, and events may require a COVID passport.

In areas with a high prevalence or risk of COVID, the passports remain a possibility. And some festivals may choose to implement them in order to attract attendees from out of town.

It’s not just festivals that are looking to adopt vaccine passports either. Just about any business that relies on socializing is eyeing this as a way to open their doors sooner, and at higher capacities. Bars and restaurants, in particular, are considering the passport system. And gyms are likely to be early adopters.

Do I Have to Wear a Mask With a COVID Passport?

Although a vaccine passport can get you into festivals, it won’t necessarily mean you can go without a mask. Requirements for masks will be dictated by the country, state, or local government where the festival takes place. In many cases, that means the passport gets you into the event, but masks will still be necessary.

If you attend a festival this summer, you’ll want to make sure your mask is comfortable and breathable. Dancing and partying all day in the hot sun can take a lot out of you, so you need to be able to breathe easy. The PowerAir face mask insert is the festival-goers’ best answer. It slips easily under any mask for a more comfortable fit and provides better airflow.

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