At this point, there aren’t many sane folks that aren’t fully vaxxed. By summertime there’ll be even less of them.
This morning the band announced a U.S. tour, which includes a Sunshine City stop where promoter Paul Williams is charging $999.99 per ticket. There is a major discount, however, for fully-vaccinated folks because tickets for them will be just $18 in advance and $20 at the door.
If you’re already pissed off, Williams added that this show—where Fat Wreck Chords’ MakeWar and St. Pete’s very own Rutterkin play support—will have “zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other such nonsense and we reserve the right to toss you out for any reason.”
To be eligible for the vaxx discount, ticket buyers must bring their government issued ID and their COVID-19 vaccination record card. “You will need to have had your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or your single shot of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on or before 6/12/202,” Williams wrote in an email to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
All staff at the VFW—located at 2599 N Central Ave.—and every band member appearing at the gig are already fully vaccinated, Williams told CL, and if you’ve lost your vaccine card, there’s a way to get your replacement before the show. If you still haven’t received your vaccine, there’s a website for that, too.
This outrageous concert announcement comes a week after the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that vaccinated people can congregate indoors without a mask on, and while the CDC has yet to issue any official guidance on concerts, clubs across the country are hoping to get word on that sooner than later.
“We’ve been talking to the CDC asking them to give us a 30, 60, and 90-day, heads up on that if possible," Tom DeGeorge, Florida rep for the National Independent Venues Association, told CL. DeGeorge owns Crowbar, which, like many Tampa venues, has hosted select limited-capacity shows under a strict, self-imposed "Safe & Sound" protocol. Other local venues have their own COVID-19 policies; some are enforced with vigor, and others, well, are just in place to make the venues look like they care.
Just 250 discounted tickets are available, with only four non-vaxx tickets in the inventory, and while you’re probably thinking Williams is kind of a looney tune for testing this out, he told CL that his main intention for this show has always been to help the Southeast’s oldest VFW Posts, which has been struggling to make it through the pandemic.
“I want to help the vets who call it home now and the ones who will in the future. I think it’s the third oldest VFW in the country,” Williams said. “The people who run the VFW like our Commander J.P., Wanda, Lady V, Scott and all the members are also giving our scene the opportunity to have a place after losing our favorite places like Fubar and Local 662. We owe it to them to give back and help this historic place live on for the future.”
Plus, Williams just wants to see his pals again. And while you might look around Florida and think, “Dude, people have been congregating, un-vaxxed and unmasked for months,” Williams knows none of the folks who might buy a discounted ticket for the Teenage Bottlerocket show are that dumb.
“I want to see my friends’ gigantic smiles as we all get to see each other again and hang out together and cry and hug at a show safely!,” he said. “We care about not hurting each other or others. The only thing we like as much, if not better, than going to a show with our friends is a cause.”
UPDATED: 05/03/21 3:15 p.m. Updated to show Teenage Bottlerocket is from Wyoming.
See a list of Tampa “Safe & Sound” live music venues here.
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