With recent news of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s early-stage results of a COVID-19 vaccine displaying a 90% efficiency rate through initial clinical trials major event companies are scrambling to adapt to a rapidly approaching future where events begin to make a return. Billboard exclusively received some details on the forthcoming strategy from Ticketmaster on how exactly the future might look like for shows. The event company envisions using smartphones to verify attendees’ vaccination status or whether they have tested negative for coronavirus within the last 72 hours. This is being done with the safety of all individuals at the event in mind.
Here’s How It Might Work (If Approved)
Imagine you’ve purchased a ticket to your first show back. You’ll need to verify that you’ve been vaccinated (which would provide approximately a year of COVID-19 protection) or that you’ve tested negative within the last 24 to 72 hours before the event. Depending on regional regulations by health authorities, the length of coverage a test would provide varies. For example, an event was on a Friday night and you were required to be tested 48 hours in advance. Ideally, you could start the testing process at a lab or health clinic the day before on Thursday.
Once you’ve got your negative COVID-19 test results (hopefully), you’ll instruct the lab to send your results to your health pass company. They would verify your results and update your status to Ticketmaster. As a result, they would provide credentials to you that will be needed to enter the event.
Now you arrive at your show with your friends to see The Wiggles for their massive headline tour with the Kidz Bop crew as direct support. Exciting, right? You’ve waited about an hour just to get through the security line and the 6’4 dude that’s absolutely jacked and wearing one of those cliché security shirts that is a size too small asks you to pull your phone out. You’ve flashed your COVID-19 negative status credentials through Ticketmaster and that driver’s license of yours that totally doesn’t look like you, and you’re in to see Kidz Bop just in time! Unfortunately, one of your friends that came with you forgot to get tested so they were thrown out. Darn shame.
It’s still very barebones and in development as it will need approval before it can be implemented, and various details need to be ironed out. Ticketmaster’s goal is to streamline the attendee experience by ensuring they’ve all taken care of safety measures prior to arriving to the event rather than building a system where attendees would have to get tested on-site.
Ticketmaster would not store or have access to fans’ medical records and would only receive verification of whether a fan is cleared to attend an event on a given date. Different states will have different requirements. The main role of companies like health pass companies will be to collect data from testing and medical providers and deliver status updates to partner companies in a secure, encrypted way that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).– Billboard
Insight from Ticketmaster
“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,” Ticketmaster president Mark 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.”
While the recent news of the vaccine may spark some optimism in most, there are still many who carry skepticism. Our future remains unpredictable and we may not be out of this pandemic any time soon. A record-breaking number of cases have been reported throughout the US constantly. Companies will need to adapt and integrate new technology to deliver live music and entertainment safely.
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