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Some Mississippi music venues requiring testing, vaccination

August 21, 2021 GMT

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Two Mississippi concert venues are now requiring guests to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or show negative test results.

The Lyric and Proud Larry’s in Oxford announced this week they would implement the requirements, The Oxford Eagle reported. Lyric general manager Lindsay Dillon-Maginnis said the regulations have been a trend nationwide for music festivals.

“Promoters who have been in our line of work, we could see the storm coming,” Maginnis told the newspaper. “It was more when are we going to announce it to the public rather than, ‘Do we have to do this?’ You could see the writing in the tea leaves.”

Not every venue in Mississippi is following suit. Entertainer Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit announced Friday that they would pull out of a show at the Brandon Amphitheater scheduled for October. Isbell said the venue would not require that attendees show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

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“Unfortunately, the powers that be were not willing to comply with the band’s updated Health and Safety standards,” a statement from Southeastern Records read.

Maginnis said there has been “overwhelmingly large majority of support” for the policy. Since implementing it, they’ve had fewer than 1% of ticket holders request a refund, Maginnis said.

“I think what people see online or what you see in comments is vitriolic or negative,” Maginnis said. “But with those people, if you dig deeper, have no connection to the Lyric or Oxford or even Mississippi.”

All but three of The Lyric’s 16 booked shows for the fall, including the sold-out Black Keys show on Sept. 23, will require proof of vaccination or a negative test.

“This wasn’t our plan in July, or June. I can’t even say that it was in the beginning of August,” Maginnis said. “As the delta variant has gotten worse and Mississippi has gotten more and more cases, we’re going to reevaluate our policy on Nov. 1 to see if the case count has gone down and where do we stand.”