A Florida concert promoter is charging unvaccinated punk fans $1,000 to attend a show with a normal ticket price of $18.
The “no-vax tax” means that those who have not received coronavirus shots would have to pay 50 times the going rate to see the concert.
Paul Williams is staging the event, headlined by Teenage Bottlerocket, in St. Petersburg on Jun. 26. He came up with the idea of a vast price difference after Florida officials ruled that businesses should not deny services to those who haven’t been able to receive a vaccine, or who have decided not to accept one.
“We’re just trying to do a show safely,” Williams told ABC Action News, adding that people “should go out and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families and their community.” He continued: “I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence. I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots.”
He said he’d sold around 250 standard-priced tickets, while none of the four premium passes had been purchased. If any did sell, he vowed the buyer wouldn’t be “outed” at the show and would be “treated just like everyone else.” He reported that the response to his move had been “overwhelmingly positive,” although he was also receiving bothersome messages from anti-vaxxers. “To care about people being safe is very bad, apparently,” he noted.
One fan argued that the pricing plan was unfair, saying she hadn’t been able to receive a vaccine yet through no fault of her own. Ray Carlisle, Teenage Bottlerocket’s frontman, said she was free to attend other shows where status checks were not in place. “We’re all vaccinated,” he said. “We encourage everyone to get vaccinated so we can see you in the pit.”