Ticketmaster is preparing to tackle the pandemic.
Following the latest reports about vaccine progress, the ticket company is working on a plan for the return of live events in 2021, Billboard reported on Wednesday (November 11).
The plan includes using smartphones to verify fans’ vaccination status or whether they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus within a 24 to 72 hour window, according to the report.
“Here’s how it would work, if approved: After purchasing a ticket for a concert, fans would need to verify that they have already been vaccinated (which would provide approximately one year of COVID-19 protection) or test negative for coronavirus approximately 24 to 72 hours prior to the concert. The length of coverage a test would provide would be governed by regional health authorities — if attendees of a Friday night concert had to be tested 48 hours in advance, most could start the testing process the day before the event. If it was a 24-hour window, most people would likely be tested the same day of the event at a lab or a health clinic,” the outlet explains.
“Once the test was complete, the fan would instruct the lab to deliver the results to their health pass company, like CLEAR or IBM. If the tests were negative, or the fan was vaccinated, the health pass company would verify the attendee’s COVID-19 status to Ticketmaster, which would then issue the fan the credentials needed to access the event. If a fan tested positive or didn’t take a test to verify their status, they would not be granted access to the event. There are still many details to work out, but the goal of the program is for fans to take care of vaccines and testing prior to the concert and not show up hoping to be tested onsite.”
Ticketmaster would not store or have access to medical records, and would only be receiving verification of whether the fan is cleared to attend. Companies like health pass companies will collect data from testing and medical providers for status updates “in a secure, encrypted way that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).”
That said, the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved third-party companies to provide the technology needed to supply vaccination results, but Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich expects demand will come through for a variety of reasons, including airline travel and theme park entry.
“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. Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events, and is working to create integrations to our API and leading digital ticketing technology as we will look to tap into the top solutions based on what’s green-lit by officials and desired by clients,” he said.