COLORADO, USA — A growing number of Colorado venues and shows are now requiring people to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test to get in. They say it’s a way to help ensure the artists can stay safe and theaters can stay open.
"2020 was super tough," said Scott Happel, owner and producer of Carnivale de Sensuale and part-owner of Oriental Theater. "We battled through for the last year and a half just trying to keep our doors open."
The path to staying open will require you to show something more than your ticket walking into the Carnivale de Sensuale show Saturday at the Oriental Theater.
Happel is the owner and producer of the burlesque variety show hitting the stage this weekend. He also is part owner of the theater. While the Oriental doesn’t require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, the show decided it wanted to impose stricter rules.
"In responding to some concerns from my cast, myself and regular fans, we decided to go along with what we’ve seen a lot of other places do, which is to ask for either proof of a recent negative COVID test or a vaccination," said Happel. "We’re not trying to force people to get vaccinated. We are happy for anyone to show up with a recent negative COVID test. That makes us feel great."
Happel isn’t the only one making this decision. The Fox, Boulder, and Aggie Theaters in Boulder and Fort Collins will also check vaccination cards and negative tests before people are allowed inside. The CEO of Z2 Entertainment, which owns the venues, said it’s a way to keep artists safe and the doors open.
"Watching the transmission rates, COVID and hospital cases increase, it was time to be proactive with a very simple policy to avert restrictions for indoor venues," Z2 CEO Cheryl Liguori wrote in a statement to 9News. "Social distancing policies drastically reduced our venue capacities and for our smaller venue shut it down completely for 15 months. We need to do our part to help slow infections and hospitalizations. It's a small ask to bring a card, wear a mask or get a test. Our artists expect that our business and staff operate safely to keep them healthy and on the road from venue to venue performing for their fans."
The burlesque show at the Oriental Theater is offering refunds to people who don’t want to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Happel says a handful of people have already asked for their money back.
"We’re just doing the best we can," said Happel. "Nobody has perfect answers. Nobody knows the exact right thing to do to keep everyone safe right now. We’re just trying to do our best."
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