The Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee will require all attendees to either provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against covid-19 or show a recent negative test for coronavirus in order to enter, according to a new notice on the festival’s website. The four-day festival starts September 2 and features acts like the Foo Fighters, Run the Jewels, Lizzo, Tame Impala, and Megan Thee Stallion, among a host of others.
While festival-goers can attend Bonnaroo unvaccinated, organizers of the festival are encouraging everyone to get the jab for covid-19, and to do so quickly, presumably because it takes about two weeks for the full effect of the vaccines to kick in.
“Bonnaroo strongly encourages vaccination. The last day to receive the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer, or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson is Thursday, August 19,” the organizers wrote.
“For patrons who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 72 hours (3 days) of first entering Centeroo. Bonnaroo requests that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask at all times while on The Farm,” the statement continued.
The Farm is what organizers call the festival grounds, and while Bonnaroo has relatively few indoor spaces, both vaccinated and unvaccinated attendees alike will be asked to wear a mask while indoors.
The festival laid out the health protocols on its website:
- Present a valid ID AND proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours to any campground medical tent and receive a Health Check Wristband. The Health Check Wristband will allow entry into Centeroo along with your festival wristband for the duration of the festival. Both a festival wristband AND Health Check Wristband are required to gain entry into Centeroo.
- Forgot to test, lost your vax card, or are outside of the 72-hour window? No problem. COVID-19 Rapid Antigen testing will be available at Bonnaroo at any Plaza Medical Tent for $40. Health Check Wristbands will be issued upon negative test.
What happens if someone tests positive while at Bonnaroo? Attendees will be asked to leave and will be able to get a refund.
“Should someone test positive on site they will be given a second (complimentary) test for confirmation. Medical staff will notify the individual of their test status, remove their festival wristband, and provide them a pre-printed card with instructions on how to request a refund for their ticket,” the website explains.
“Patrons who test positive are not allowed to remain on site and will be asked to collect their belongings and exit the site immediately.”
Bonnaroo also has a request on its website that people who know they’ve been exposed to covid-19 within the past two weeks not show up, among other requirements:
- Within 14 days before attending the festival you have tested positive, or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- Within 48 hours prior to attending the festival, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
- Within 14 days prior to attending the festival you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.
As Rolling Stone points out, Lollapalooza had similar requirements and Milwaukee’s Summerfest has also announced attendees will need to be vaccinated or show a negative test for entrance.
The U.S. is experiencing a troubling surge in new covid-19 cases, with over 161,000 new cases and 1,049 deaths on Tuesday alone. The vast majority of cases are occurring in the unvaccinated population, according to the CDC. Roughly 50.8% of Americans are now fully vaccinated, with many southern states lagging behind. Tennessee, the location of Bonnaroo, only has 39.65% of its population fully vaccinated.
Over 70,000 Americans are currently hospitalized for covid-19, with roughly 8,300 people being admitted to the hospital each day. Disturbingly, experts expect the covid-19 pandemic to get much worse over the coming weeks, with U-Mass Amherst predicting 33,000 Americans will be entering hospital each day by Labor Day, September 4, right in the middle of Bonnaroo.