Alt-Country stalwart and COVID-19 vaccination advocate Jason Isbell and his band the 400 Unit are on their way to Cincinnati.
Isbell will perform back-to-back shows at the Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center on Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11, a press release says. Grand Ole Opry star Marty Stuart will be the featured guest, along with Stuart's band, the Fabulous Superlatives. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27.
Isbell's show at Cincinnati's ICON (and elsewhere) will require fans to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (having received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks prior to the show), with proof of vaccination. Fans also can supply proof of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test that was administered no more than 48 hours before the event.
The performer has been outspoken about the need for COVID-19 vaccines in order to protect musicians, crew members, venue workers and fans. He was among the first and most vocal to institute full vaccination requirements for his shows.
"I'm all for freedom but I think if you're dead, you don't have any freedoms at all," he recently told MSNBC.
"We're in a crisis right now. We're in an emergency situation," Isbell told CBS News.
Isbell joins a large group of performers who are demanding vaccinations or are canceling shows altogether. Country superstar Garth Brooks recently canceled several September shows — including the one in Cincinnati — as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Kentucky and Ohio thanks to the highly transmissible Delta variant. The FDA granted full approval for Pfizer's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for adults earlier this week (the Pfizer vaccine remains under emergency use authorization for those age 15 and under, as do vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, though all are expected to receive full approval soon). Public health scientists say that vaccination is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic.
"In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us. Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part," Brooks said.
A number of Cincinnati music venues are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations, negative COVID-19 tests, masking or all three.
Isbell released his latest album Reunion in 2020, an effort universally acclaimed by critics. His song "Dreamsicle" reached No. 49 on the Apple Music chart last May.
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