Gerald Franklin Agency

Vaccination Requirements? Not if you want to Sell Alcohol in Texas

Grammy winning country star Jason Isbell cancelled his August 11 concert at the Cynthia Mitchel Woods Pavilion outside Houston because the venue “wouldn’t comply” with his list of health protocol demands. The band’s show two nights later in Fort Worth was also cancelled when the Panther Island Pavilion would not agree to his list. Billy Bob’s Texas then said they would honor his demands and the show would go on.

The List of Demands:

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising due to the Delta Variant, all attendees of this event must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of attending the event. In attending the event you certify and attest that you and all individuals in your party attending the event:

-Are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks after final dose, NO LATER THAN JULY 30, 2021) and provide proof of vaccination; i.e. original vaccination card, copy of vaccination card, picture of vaccination card, OR

-Will take a COVID-19 diagnostic test (PCR or antigen) within 72 hours of each event and before entry to the facility and will provide proof of negative result to security prior to entry into the facility, AND

-Will not attend the event and will request a refund if you have recently been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the 24-hour period prior to the event

Guests 12 and under do not require a vax or negative test, but do need to wear a mask

Guests are advised to arrive early as checking the documentation will be a new and lengthy process.

“For all of our shows, everywhere going forward, we’re going to require either a vaccine card or a negative test and we’re going to ask everybody to wear masks,” Isbell, who’s currently touring the country with his band, the 400 Unit, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC. “I feel like we’ll probably get some pushback from some states on that.”

He got some pushback in Texas.

Marty Travis, the general manager of Billy Bob’s told Rolling Stone Magazine he spent the days that followed being called “Hitler”.

“I’m not trying to make history, I’m just trying to make a living,” Travis said. “I think if I stuck my neck out there and said, ‘This is Billy Bob’s policy,’ they might come after me. But I’m doing one event, one night. By the time I get to Saturday morning, nobody’s going to give a sh*t.”

“I don’t care if they call me Janet Jackson. Let’s just get to the show and have a good time and move on to our next gig. It’s not that big a deal.”

It was a big deal to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission who, after the Billy Bob’s show was announced, issued this friendly reminder:

TABC wants to remind businesses in Texas that state law now prohibits businesses from requiring customers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. TABC may require compliance with this law as a condition of holding a license, permit, certificate, or other authorization.

A recent public disagreement between the TABC and two Austin restaurants further illuminates the difficulties business owners are facing as they try to keep up with everyone’s interpretation of safety protocols and regulations.

Launderette and Fresa’s announced on social media their plans to require proof of vaccination from customers seeking to dine inside their establishments. Their posted policy specified that the unvaccinated (including children under 12, who are not yet eligible) would have to dine outside, with masked access to indoor restrooms, in addition to the ongoing requirement that all guests mask indoors when not seated at a table. The restaurants both retracted their vaccine proof requirements after receiving word from TABC that the policy was in violation of Texas law, specifically Section 14 of Senate Bill 968, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June.

Launderette and Fresa’s have agreed to follow the law and limit their restrictions. Billy Bob’s has also stated that they will no longer acquiesce to artist’s demands and they would follow the Texas law. The Jason Isbell concert promoters are attempting to work out their demands with venues in a more timely manner to prevent last minute cancellations. Several of their future shows have been canceled.

Yet the Austin City Limits Festival has declared that they WILL be requiring proof of vaccination at all entrances this fall for their event that hosts 450,000 each year. The TABC has insisted that they will soon be discussing the law with the organizers of the ACL.

AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Home of the Dallas Cowboys and the largest provider of alcoholic beverages in Texas, has declared that masks will not be required at football games this fall. Masks will not be required at the Texas State Fair in Dallas that hosts over 2 million visitors each year.

But this week, Oregon and Oregon State Universities of the Pac12 conference have stated that masks AND proof of vaccination will be required to watch football in 2021.