Why a major Charlotte arts group will require vaccines or COVID tests for its audience

·2 min read

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will require all guests to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test at indoor concerts starting next month, the group announced Friday.

The new requirement will begin at the Symphony’s Opening Night at the Knight Theater on Oct. 15.

All fully vaccinated guests (meaning two weeks after the final dose of the COVID-19 shot) must provide proof of vaccination along with a matching photo ID at every performance.

Unvaccinated guests, including children, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before the start of the performance or a negative Rapid Antigen test taken within 24 hours of the start of the performance, along with a photo ID.

And the Charlotte Symphony will require all guests, ages 2 and older, to wear masks indoor in all venues, except when consuming food or drinks. Additional COVID-19 safety information is available at the Charlotte Symphony website.

In a news release, the symphony said the decision to require proof of vaccination was made “after careful consideration and consultation with Atrium Health, the city of Charlotte, and our partners at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center to keep audiences, musicians and staff safe.”

The symphony resumed limited indoor rehearsals in October 2020 after taking a break in March because of the pandemic.

The symphony had to make COVID-19 safety adjustments during performances, including spacing musicians out by six feet and disinfecting music stands and even sheet music, the Observer reported in October.

Blumenthal Performing Arts, which hosts the Charlotte Symphony events, does not have a vaccination or testing requirement for ticket buyers, spokeswoman Rebecca Bereiter told the Observer in an email.

“Blumenthal Performing Arts supports allowing our tenants and resident groups to establish health protocols they believe are appropriate for their audience and which are consistent with guidance from health and public officials,” she said.

All guests at Blumenthal venues are required to wear masks indoors, she said.

Charlotte Symphony will start requiring viewers to wear masks and provide proof of coronavirus vaccination or negative COVID tests at all indoor concerts.
Charlotte Symphony will start requiring viewers to wear masks and provide proof of coronavirus vaccination or negative COVID tests at all indoor concerts.

Vaccine requirements across Charlotte

The Charlotte Symphony joins music venues and other performing arts groups across Charlotte in issuing the vaccination requirement.

Theatre Charlotte started requiring proof of vaccination or a negative covid test for its performances as of Aug. 18. Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, the resident theater company at Queens University of Charlotte, began requiring proof of full vaccination along with photo ID at all performances on Sept. 13.

And music venues including The Evening Muse and Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa and The Visulite Theatre on Elizabeth Avenue all began requiring COVID vaccinations or negative tests in August.

Petra’s in Plaza Midwood also began requiring proof of vaccine for all shows and events last month.

And starting Oct. 4, PNC Music Pavilion will require performers, fans and employees to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results. That policy will go into effect at every U.S. venue and festival fully owned by Live Nation Entertainment, the Observer reported last month.

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