SEATTLE — The Seattle Theatre Group (STG) will require proof of vaccination for entry into all of its show venues starting Aug.12, in an effort to keep patrons and staff safe from COVID-19.
The nonprofit group owns and operates three show venues, including the Paramount, the Moore and Neptune Theatres.
"Our job here is to connect artists and audiences," said STG Executive Director Josh LaBelle. "We're hearing a lot from patrons and from artists about their concerns, and their desire for us to do as much as we can to make them safe."
LaBelle said the prevalence of the delta variant was the catalyst for the requirement. Starting Thursday, theatre attendees must provide proof of vaccination along with a valid I.D. to enter the venue.
Acceptable proof of vaccination includes vaccination cards, a photo of the card, or documentation from a healthcare provider or state immunization record.
LaBelle said the requirements are not intended to cause divisions.
"We care deeply about our patrons and if you're somebody who doesn't want to take the vaccine for any reason or you cannot take the vaccine, we still have a path for you here," LaBelle said.
Those unable to get vaccinated and children 12 and under who are unable to be vaccinated, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 before attending a performance, or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 24 hours before attending a performance.
LaBelle said venues will have computers available to show proof online, should fully vaccinated people arrive at the door but don't have, or forgot to bring proof on them.
Bryan and Jen Zug said the show they attended at the Neptune Saturday night was the first indoor performance they've seen in a year and a half.
"This is what we're doing inside shows and things like that in order to make it feel safer and build up the ecosystem of arts around town and in the community," Bryan Zug said.
Jen Zug said she had no problem proving she is vaccinated for the sake of safety and for venue operations.
"I mean they need to be able to do something to try to stay open because they need jobs, musicians need a place to play, and people like us love to go see shows," Jen Zug said.
Masks will also be required for all show patrons in all sections at STG venues, except while patrons are eating and drinking.
STG's policy comes as Live Nation announced it will require employees to be vaccinated and allow performers to dictate whether attendees must show proof of vaccination.