More Than a Dozen Northeast Ohio Music Clubs and Theaters Announce New Joint Policy Requiring Vaccination or Negative Covid Test

Owners and operators of several of Cleveland's music clubs. - Emanuel Wallace
Emanuel Wallace
Owners and operators of several of Cleveland's music clubs.
More than a dozen regional music clubs and theaters including the Agora, the Beachland, the Bop Stop, Grog Shop, Happy Dog, Jilly's Music Room, Mahall’s, Music Box, Musica, the Nightlight, the Rialto Theatre, Westside Bowl and the Winchester, have jointly decided to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for entry into their venues.

"Many national touring bands are now requiring that venues have a policy of only vaccinated staff members on site during their show and that patrons also prove they have been vaccinated or are COVID negative,” says Beachland Ballroom & Tavern co-owner Cindy Barber in a press release. “And some may still require masks, but this policy may help keep our schedules mostly intact. As Northeast Ohio venues, we all want to have the same base policy so our fans can understand and feel protected when they come out to support live music."

The new policy will be in full effect no later than Tuesday, Sept. 7. Patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test within 48 hours of entry at venues throughout Northeast Ohio. These restrictions will remain in place indefinitely and are subject to change with current public health conditions and as guidance is reevaluated.

“As regional venue owners and operators, we are united in prioritizing the health and safety of our patrons, staff, artists — and our businesses,” says Jilly’s Music Room owner Jill Bacon Madden. “We were thrilled to reopen and invite people to gather and celebrate live music, performances, and film again. The rise in COVID cases coupled with vaccine hesitancy is a threat to the live entertainment economy. We are committed to taking positive action to get through and rise above it.”

Happy Dog co-owner Sean Watterson agrees with Madden.

“Venues locally and across the country just re-opened after over a year of being closed due to COVID safety concern," he says. "We need to do what we can to operate safely and realize these are imperfect solutions to problems that are largely out of our control. We are working with local partners on solutions to continually improve safety for audiences, performers and staff, and we recognize that, as conditions change, we will need to adapt and adjust our efforts.”

Acceptable documentation may be a physical or digital copy of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or other proof as permitted locally that can be matched with a Driver’s License or State ID. A test result must be in the form of written documentation. Guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks regardless of vaccination status except while actively eating and drinking.

The Agora, owned by AEG Presents, will accept negative Covid tests through Oct. 1, but only vaccinations afterward.

Read the full Northeast Ohio venue health policy here.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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