The Foo Fighters are performing at Madison Square Garden on June 20, which will be the first 100% capacity concert in a New York arena since March 2020. However, only music enthusiasts who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be admitted into the concert. This has some Foo Fighters fans furious, some vowing never to buy another ticket to one of the band’s concerts.
In order to attend the Foo Fighters concert at MSG, guests will need to be fully vaccinated, which means that at least 14 days before June 20, concertgoers must have had the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. The only exception is that children under the age of 16 may provide proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test instead of the coronavirus vaccine. The minor’s antigen COVID-19 test must be taken within six hours of the event start time, or the PCR COVID-19 test must be taken within 72 hours of the day of the event.
“Guests will have to provide proof of full vaccination along with an appropriate ID matching the name on your documentation,” a statement from Madison Square Garden states. “Your documentation needs to be directly from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination and you can display proof on your smartphone, present a physical copy or through the New York State Excelsior Pass.”
The Excelsior Pass, which was developed by IBM, allows New Yorkers to show an electronic passport on their phone in the form of a unique QR code that is scanned by businesses to confirm COVID-19 vaccinations or recent negative COVID tests before they will be permitted to enter theaters, stadiums, or other businesses.
“The Garden is ready to rock,” James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment, said in a statement of the iconic NYC arena that has a capacity of 20,789. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for 15 months and are excited to finally welcome a packed house of roaring, fully-vaccinated Foo Fighters fans to Madison Square Garden.”
The stipulation that all attendees be vaccinated to go to the concert is an order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Democratic governor issued an order that gatherings or events without social distancing that exceed 250 people indoors or 500 outdoors must require proof of vaccination.
However, many Foo Fighters fans who don’t want to get the coronavirus vaccine feel slighted that they will be shut out of the concert. Fans lashed out at the band for playing a gig that would “discriminate” against those who were not vaccinated.
Reactions from Foo Fighters fans and internet commentators to the vaccinated-only concert:
- “Imagine being a fan of the @foofighters but you’re allergic to the vaccine or unable to get it due to a medical condition.”
- “I’ll never buy another ticket to a @foofighters concert. Not all people that choose to NOT vaccinate are conspiracy theorists. Some people, very close to me, have autoimmune conditions that make the vaccine a high risk proposition.”
- “Ridiculous that people have to be vaccinated to go to MSG! Everyone’s situation if different and being vaccinated is up to the individual. Total discrimination! Big thumbs down to MSG!”
- “Foo Fighters, a band I’ve long admired, just held a concert for the jabbed only. That’s every album & play list with them on, consigned to the bin.”
- “No Jab, no gig! The Foo Fighters play Madison Square Gardens but only for the vaccinated. Discriminating against all those who can’t have a jab as well as those who choose not to, inc pregnant women, immune suppressed and children. Papers please!”
- “Beyond disappointed to hear the Foo Fighters are leading the way in health discrimination.”
- “Never thought the Foo Fighters would support suppression, segregation, and discrimination. It’s strange times.”
- “Foo Fighters are playing at Madison Square Garden, but only for the vaccinated! Rock artists used to question things and stick it to the establishment, but not anymore; and some even accept and promote discrimination.”
- “The Foo Fighters will play to a fully packed Madison Square Garden on June 20. Later that week, Tottenville High School will have to hold six separate graduation ceremonies because they’re limited to no more than 500 people on their outdoor football field.”
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl commented on the reopening of Madison Square Garden, “We’ve been waiting for this day for over a year. And Madison Square Garden is going to feel that HARD. New York, get ready for a long ass night of screaming our heads off together to 26 years of Foos.”
In April, Grohl teamed up with fellow rocker Mick Jagger for a collaboration song titled “Easy Sleazy,” which hits on the banality of life during the coronavirus pandemic and mocks anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories.
“Shooting the vaccine, Bill Gates is in my bloodstream. It’s mind control,” the rock stars sing. “The Earth is flat and cold, it’s never warming up. The Arctic’s tundra turned to slush, the second coming’s late, there’s aliens in the Deep State.”