The search for a COVID-19 vaccine is showing some promising signs, and Ticketmaster is starting to prepare for the vaccine's presence in the world of live music. A new report from Billboard outlines the company's plans to develop a smartphone-based system that verifies whether a concert attendee has received a COVID vaccine or tested negative between 24 and 72 hours before the event.
Information on the attendee's COVID status would be relayed to the Ticketmaster smartphone app via third-party health information companies and vaccine distributors. After the purchase of a ticket, fans would need to permit the health information company or vaccine distributor to send proof of their negative status or vaccination to Ticketmaster, allowing them into the venue. Purchased tickets would be linked to the fan who bought them, preventing resale to untested individuals, and Ticketmaster's new SmartEvent system will aid social distancing and contact tracing measures.
The entire concept is still hypothetical as the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the kind of third-party companies that would be needed to send COVID status information to Ticketmaster. However, Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich told Billboard that he was optimistic about its future. “We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting — whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval — which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified,” he said.