Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions in Tampa Bay said he came up with the idea as vaccination appointments in his state opened up to all, and while trying to plan a concert that people could safely enjoy after over a year of living through a pandemic that shut down most live events with crowds.
“I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence,” Williams told ABC News. “I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots.”
The concert is set to take place on June 26 at the VFW Post 39 venue in St. Petersburg. It will feature performances from three punk rock banks: Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin.
Some 250 discounted tickets for vaccinated patrons for are sale, compared to just four thousand-dollar tickets. So far, Williams said no one has bought any of the $1,000 tickets.
“We’re all vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can see you in the pit,” Ray Carlisle, singer and guitar player with the band Teenage Bottlerocket, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS.Ray Carlisle of Teenage Bottlerocket performs onstage in Indianapolis.
The response to his initiative from the local music scene has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Williams said. He has been receiving negative comments, however, from a slew of anti-vaxxers who he said obtained his phone number and have been inundating him with spam messages.
“To care about people being safe is very bad apparently,” Williams said.
The promoter said he isn’t denying entry to unvaccinated concertgoers, saying, “You can buy a full-price ticket and you’ll be treated like everyone else.”
The concert comes amid nationwide pushes to encourage widespread vaccinations that could help bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A handful of states have announced vaccine lotteries, companies including Krispy Kreme are offering a slew of incentives and even dating apps have started letting users share their vaccination status.
Earlier this week, the U.S. reached the milestone of over half of all adults being fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Still, despite the U.S. pandemic death toll approaching 600,000, nearly 1 in 4 Americans say they are disinclined to get any of the coronavirus vaccines, according to a recent ABC News/Washington post poll.