Rhythm & Vaxxed: Former PM John Key Suggests Mandatory Vaccine Passports At Festivals

Local culture 27/09/2021

It has been said multiple times by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that high vaccination rates are the key to ending the need for lockdowns.

Jacinda Ardern spoke to The AM Show this morning saying “having 90 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated or 76 per cent of the entire population could eliminate any need for tough stay-at-home orders and see restrictions eased.”

The Government is also considering introducing vaccination passports that could be used for events to help give that industry more certainty.

Ardern's response comes as former Prime Minister Sir John Key said lockdowns had proven Kiwis were compliant - but the reality was they won't get the last 20 per cent without doing something radical like banning people from outdoor concerts.

​​He suggested that the Government should tell young people who were under no pressure to get vaccinated that they couldn't go to these events like Rhythm and Vines, or go to a nightclub, or get on a flight and then see how many of them still think spoons will stick to their left arm where they are getting the vaccine put in.

Creating restrictions like this at NZ festivals would be following in the footsteps of some of the world largest music event providers. 

According to DJ Mag, Coachella promoter AEG has announced that vaccination will be mandatory for entry to all its events from 1st October. 

The new rules will apply to both festival go-ers and staff working at the music festival. The company is the second-largest presenter of music events on the planet, behind Live Nation, which announced on 6th August that any performing artists could start asking for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry if they choose to do so. 

Jay Marciano, AEG’s CEO, has said in a statement, “We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status. Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again.

“We realise that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers," he continued.

It’s safe to say that we all want New Zealand to be on the right side of history as well!